Defending Against Charges of Intent to Distribute

Possession of an illegal drug is a lesser crime in Denver than possession with intent to sell. Simple possession is a misdemeanor offense. It carries penalties that may include up to one year of jail time, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Possession with intent to distribute is a felony offense, with far more severe penalties in a conviction.

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What Are the Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute?

Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell is a very serious crime. For purposes of this offense, possession applies to the amount of a controlled substance found not just on your person but in your home, your car, and any other location under your control. Intent to sell is demonstrated by the prosecution based on the circumstances of the case and assumed when the amount is considered too great for personal use.

Penalties upon conviction will depend on the type and amount of the controlled substance found in your possession. The penalty for unlawfully selling drugs in Colorado can range from as little as misdemeanor probation to up to 32 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for large-scale manufacturing and/or distribution.

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What Factors Influence Sentencing in Intent to Distribute Cases?

Sentencing for intent to distribute will depend on several different factors, including:

  • The type of drug: A person charged with a Level 1 felony for intent to distribute will be facing possible penalties of eight to 32 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million dollars in fines. A person convicted of a Level 2 felony for intent to distribute a controlled substance will be facing four to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $750,000.00.
  • The amount of drug: The larger the quantity of an illegal substance found in your possession, the more severe the penalties are likely to be. Location of the drug crime: Possession with intent to distribute in or within 1,000 feet of a playground, school, or college, or within 100 feet of a youth center, swimming pool, or video arcade facility is punished by the next higher penalty classification.
  • Age of the person receiving the drugs: This factor can have a major impact on the charges and penalties for intent to distribute. Any person 18 years of age or older who knowingly and intentionally distributes a controlled substance to a person under the age of 18 is punished by the next higher penalty classification. This is true whether or not the person charged with intent to distribute knew the person allegedly receiving the drugs was under the age of 18.
  • Prior criminal convictions: Prior convictions can lead to enhanced sentencing for intent to distribute, as well as for other crimes. With a second or third offense, you may be labeled as a habitual offender, and face harsher penalties.

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Why Do You Need an Attorney If You Have Been Charged with Intent to Distribute Drugs?

Conviction of intent to distribute can mean a jail or prison sentence, fines, and a mark on your record that could impact your future. Your best chance of obtaining the most favorable outcome is to have an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney handling your case.

Contact Welsh Law L.L.C. at (720) 836-1777 to schedule a free consultation. You deserve strong representation to protect your future if you've been charged with a drug crime.

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