Virginia Possession With Intent to Distribute Lawyer

Possession with intent to distribute is charged when someone is in possession of narcotics of some sort and the officer believes that their intent is to either sell them or to give them to someone else. A person can be charged with both possession and possession with the intent to distribute, as they are under the same code section.

Both offenses carry significant penalties and consequences, and a Virginia possession with intent to distribute lawyer will be essential to help any individual facing charges to mitigate any potential penalties. An experienced Virginia drug lawyer can you fight drug possession charges with a robust defense.

Possession with Intent to Distribute Offenses

Possession with the intent to distribute means that the accused is holding drugs they intend to sell to other people. Intent to distribute can be determined through a number of ways. The most common method is the sheer quantity of the substance possessed. There are certain drug task forces throughout Virginia involved with investigating. Even local jurisdictions investigate possession with intent to distribute. On a federal level, it would be the Drug Enforcement Administration. Possessing more than one ounce of marijuana in Virginia has a rebuttable presumption, under the law, that that person intends to distribute that marijuana. In that case, a Virginia possession with intent to distribute attorney may introduce evidence that the accused was addicted to marijuana and all of the substance possessed was for personal use.

The charge depends on how much of the drug there is and whether or not that weight is consistent with personal use or with distribution. They also look at how it is packaged and whether there is paraphernalia in the presence of the narcotics. They will try to use the surrounding circumstances to show whether or not there was intent to move the substance to another individual. There may also be indicators that the person might be involved in a drug trade, regardless of the amount of the substance possessed. Those indicators can include multiple baggies or different packaging, scales, records of clients, or other things that typically are associated with the drug trade, rather than just drug use.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession occurs when the person is in close proximity to a drug, they are aware that the drug is there, and, at some point, had dominion and control over that drug. If the government intends to prove constructive possession with the intent to distribute, the prosecution has to show some evidence that the person distributed or other indicators of intent to distribute. The indicators could be telephone records, computer records, scales in the home, individual doses, and/or packaging.


There can be misdemeanor possession with intent to distribute cases in which the person has under one-half ounce of marijuana, for example. In that case, the prosecution can only prove possession with intent to distribute at a misdemeanor level. For every other Schedule I or II substance like heroin, cocaine, PCP, meth, or over half an ounce of marijuana, the PWID offense is charged as a felony. They determine whether it is a federal case depending on how high the quantity is, whether they can show it has moved across state lines, and how widespread the enterprise is.

Possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I or II substance is punishable by five to 40 years in a correctional facility. It also has a high fine. Subsequent offenses have mandatory jail time. There are no first offender or diversion programs available in intent to distribute cases in Virginia. A Virginia possession with intent to distribute lawyer is the best help for an individual facing jail time.

Working with Possession With Intent to Distribute Attorney

If the accused is charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule I or II drugs, they are facing a statutory term of incarceration of up to five years. The government is serious about the offense and wants to put an end to it in such a way that will result in the defendant being imprisoned for a considerable amount of time. Getting a possession with intent to distribute attorney in Virginia involved in the case in the early stages can help to mitigate any possible sentence.

The first defense strategy is to get the charge down to a simple possession case and get it out of the distribution realm or to show the person was not in possession. Other strategies are to examine the constitutional issues surrounding the facts as presented and try to reduce the evidence as much as possible. There are many strategies that may be used. Defending a case is fact specific and a Virginia possession with intent to distribute attorney is going to work tirelessly to build a proper defense.