Prince William County Drug Distribution Lawyer

Drug distribution is more serious than simple possession or even possession with intent to distribute charges because actual distribution is additionally proven. Generally, the law acknowledges lesser punishments for people who only harm themselves with drugs or who intend to distribute drugs to others at some point, but have not yet done so for whatever reason.

Drug distribution is essentially treated as drug dealing, but there are many forms of distribution which are seen as less severe than others. Moreover, in the eyes of law enforcement, drug distribution charges involve a greater likelihood to lead to violent behavior in relation to drug transactions that go wrong. If you have been charged with a drug distribution offense, seek the services of a Prince William County drug distribution lawyer. A qualified drug attorney could build a solid defense for you.

Evidence the Prosecution Uses in Drug Cases

The prosecution uses a wide array of evidence to prove drug distribution charges. Such evidence can include:

  • Cell phone records and data
  • Marked dollar bills that have been tracked through commerce
  • Expert testimony and reports concerning the chemical properties of a substance and the history of its related drug trade;
  • Testimony from undercover police officers and confidential informants
  • Testimony from investigating detectives and arresting police officers
  • Testimony from cooperating co-defendants
  • Forensic evidence like photographs of recovered drugs, weapons, cash and drug packaging as well as paraphernalia

A Prince William County drug distribution lawyer could contest the prosecution’s evidence in an effort to build an individual’s case.

Aggravating Factors with a Drug Distribution Charge

The most important factors increasing the severity of a drug distribution charge are:

  • How dangerous the drug is
  • How much quantity is being distributed as measured by weight
  • Whether the distribution is being done for profit
  • Whether the alleged distributor or recipient of the drugs was also possessing a firearm or another dangerous weapon at the time of the distribution
  • Prior drug charges, particularly prior drug distribution charges or possession with intent to distribute charges, will significantly aggravate a distribution charge
  • Enhanced distribution charges or punishments can also be triggered if the recipient of the distribution was a young juvenile or if the distribution occurred within a certain distance of school property

Constitutional Issues in Drug Cases

Distribution prosecutions follow elaborate drug investigations that utilize undercover police or confidential informants. There are special constitutional rules that apply to confronting such witnesses as well as being provided exculpatory evidence about such witnesses. Outside of that, distribution charges do not involve any unique constitutional issues over other kinds of drug charges which might involve Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations, or Fifth Amendment confrontation violations related to the introduction of laboratory reports and hearsay against an accused. Occasionally, police will get overzealous in their interrogations of witnesses or defendants in distribution cases, and that can also lead to a separate Fifth Amendment self-incrimination violation. A Prince William County drug distribution lawyer could leverage these constitutional issues in order to get evidence dismissed and develop a defense.

Contested Elements of a Drug Distribution Charge

Usually, distribution charges are brought when the police have infiltrated or disrupted an actual drug transaction, so intent is not much of an issue. The elements that are easier to contest are whether the distributor knew of all the various chemical properties of the drugs being distributed and whether the prosecution’s alleged quantity and quality values of the drugs are accurate. Sometimes, whether the distribution was for profit will also be contested because there is a specific reduction provided by law that if a distribution was only done to repay a personal debt or given as a gift, this is known as an ‘accommodation’ and is a lesser level of felony.

Qualities to Look for in a Prince William County Drug Attorney

A person should look for a Prince William County drug distribution lawyer that has significant experience and knowledge in defending drug charges within the particular jurisdiction where the accused is charged, and who has a good reputation for effectively handling felony cases in general. Prior handling of other drug distribution charges themselves is a great indicator of these qualities. If you have been charged with a drug distribution offense, seek the services of a capable drug attorney that could fight tirelessly for you.