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Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm
Being charged with possession with intent to sell drugs can lead to serious criminal penalties. However, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can often get these charges reduced or even dismissed. Here are some of the ways a good lawyer can help:
The first thing a lawyer will do is closely examine all the evidence against you. This includes reviewing police reports, analyzing any drugs or paraphernalia seized, and looking for improper police conduct. If the evidence is weak or flawed, the lawyer can file motions to get charges dismissed or evidence suppressed.
A key element prosecutors must prove is intent to sell or distribute drugs. But intent is hard to prove without direct evidence like undercover buys or your statements. Your lawyer will scrutinize the circumstantial evidence like baggies or scales to show reasonable doubt.
There are defenses that can defeat intent to sell charges. For example, you can argue the drugs were for personal use, you didn’t know about the drugs, or you were entrapped. An experienced lawyer will look for and raise any viable defenses.
Prosecutors know beating intent to sell charges at trial is tough. So they’re often open to plea bargains for lesser charges like simple possession. An attorney can negotiate aggressively to get charges reduced significantly.
Even if charges aren’t reduced, a lawyer can often negotiate plea deals with lighter sentences. This includes arguing for probation, deferred adjudication, or drug court instead of jail time. The right plea deal can change your life.
If you end up convicted, your lawyer can provide mitigating context to the judge before sentencing. This includes highlighting your lack of criminal history, steady employment, and family commitments to argue for leniency.
Many jurisdictions offer pretrial diversion programs for first-time offenders charged with nonviolent drug crimes. A lawyer can help get you into these programs to avoid prosecution and clear your record.
Judges take addiction and efforts to get clean into account at sentencing. Your attorney can show enrollment in rehab or outpatient treatment to demonstrate you’re addressing the root cause.
The impacts of a drug conviction go far beyond jail time. Your record can affect jobs, licenses, financial aid, and immigration status. A lawyer will advise on these crucial collateral consequences.
If you’re convicted at trial, a lawyer can appeal based on issues like insufficient evidence, procedural errors, or abuse of discretion at sentencing. Appeals provide another chance at dismissal or a new trial.
The bottom line is an experienced criminal defense lawyer has the knowledge and resources to build the strongest case possible. While the charges are serious, a good attorney can often get charges reduced or penalties minimized. Don’t go it alone against seasoned prosecutors. Hire a lawyer to even the playing field.
Proving intent to sell charges requires showing you knowingly possessed drugs and intended to sell them. But several legal defenses can counter the prosecution’s evidence:
If police violated your 4th Amendment rights by conducting an illegal search or seizure, any evidence found may be excluded. This can get charges dismissed before trial.
You can argue the drugs belonged to someone else, like a friend or partner, so you didn’t knowingly possess them. This targets a key element of the charges.
You can claim the drugs were meant for personal use only, not distribution. Even if some evidence points to selling, arguing personal use plants reasonable doubt.
If police pressured you into a drug sale you wouldn’t have otherwise made, you may have an entrapment defense. This is especially powerful with undercover stings.
You can argue you didn’t know the substance was illegal drugs. This works best with substances concealed or disguised as legal products.
Raising one of these defenses doesn’t mean charges will automatically be dismissed. But an experienced lawyer can explain how these defenses apply to the facts of your case to give you the best shot of beating the charges.
Given the challenges of winning at trial, many intent to sell cases end in plea bargains. A lawyer’s negotiating skills are key to getting charges reduced. Here are some tactics they use:
Leveraging these tactics, an attorney can often get charges like possession with intent reduced to simple possession or even misdemeanors in plea negotiations.
If charges can’t be reduced through plea bargaining, the focus becomes getting the lightest sentence possible. Smart lawyers make these arguments:
Judges tend to be more lenient with defendants with no prior record. Highlight you’ve never been in trouble with the law before.
Stress there was no violence or weapons involved so you pose minimal risk to public safety.
Highlight your close ties to family and dependents to humanize you and show what’s at stake.
Prove you’ve been a productive member of society by showing consistent employment history.
Recommend probation with frequent drug testing and monitoring to avoid jail time.
Propose home confinement with electronic monitoring as a strict but non-jail alternative.
If addiction fueled the offense, emphasize desire for treatment over punishment.
Submit glowing letters from family, friends, employers, etc. attesting to your good character.
Sincerely apologizing shows acceptance of responsibility and desire to reform.
Provide the court specific outpatient counseling or rehab programs you can enter.
Backing up these points with evidence of mitigating circumstances and a concrete alternative sentencing plan can help secure a more lenient punishment.
Facing serious drug charges without an attorney is extremely risky. Here are some key reasons why hiring a lawyer is so important:
Drug charges also carry major penalties that can change your life forever. The costs and risks of not having experienced legal counsel are simply too high. Don’t take chances. Consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Intent to sell drug charges should always be taken very seriously. But an experienced criminal defense lawyer can often get charges reduced or penalties minimized through careful investigation, strategic negotiation, and skillful advocacy. Don’t let fear or costs stop you from seeking professional legal help. It can make all the difference in achieving the most favorable resolution to your case.
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