In the realm of criminal law, one of the most serious offenses is drug-related crimes, particularly possession with intent to distribute. This article aims to shed light on this crime as it is defined and prosecuted in the state of Maryland.
What is Possession with Intent to Distribute?
Possession with intent to distribute, often abbreviated as PWID, is a crime that involves not only having possession of a controlled dangerous substance but also the intention to sell, deliver, transfer, or otherwise distribute it. This crime is more severe than simple drug possession because it implies a level of premeditation and the potential for broader societal harm.
In Maryland, the law does not explicitly define what constitutes “intent to distribute.” Instead, intent is typically inferred from the circumstances surrounding the case. Factors that may suggest intent to distribute can include the quantity of drugs found, the presence of packaging materials, scales, large amounts of cash, and/or any statements made by the accused.
The Severity of the Crime
The severity of a PWID charge in Maryland largely depends on the type and quantity of the controlled dangerous substance involved. For instance, if someone is found with a large amount of marijuana, they may face a more severe penalty than someone found with a smaller amount of the same substance. Similarly, possession with intent to distribute substances like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine are considered more serious due to their high potential for abuse and addiction.
Penalties for PWID can range from fines to imprisonment. For example, a conviction for PWID involving marijuana can result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For more dangerous substances like heroin, the penalties can be as high as 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Defending Against PWID Charges
Given the severity of PWID charges, it’s crucial to have a robust defense strategy. A skilled criminal defense attorney can challenge the prosecution’s case in several ways. For instance, they might question the legality of the search that led to the discovery of the drugs, or they could challenge the evidence suggesting an intent to distribute.
One common defense strategy is to argue that the drugs were for personal use, not distribution. If successful, this could potentially reduce the charges to simple possession, which carries less severe penalties. However, the success of this strategy often depends on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the quantity of drugs found and whether there were any paraphernalia suggesting distribution.
Possession with Intent to Distribute Attorney in Towson, MD
Possession with intent to distribute is a serious crime in Maryland, carrying severe penalties. However, being charged with this crime does not automatically mean a conviction is inevitable. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help navigate the complexities of the legal system, challenge the prosecution’s case, and work towards the best possible outcome.
Our criminal defense law firm in Towson, Maryland has extensive experience successfully represent people accused of possession with intent to distribute. Contact our office today if you or a loved one have been charged with possession with intent to distribute to schedule a consultation with an award-winning criminal defense attorney.