In Georgia, the statute doesn’t care whether a person received money for selling drugs. However, I’ve never seen somebody give drugs away for free. Typically, if a person has given someone drugs for free, the ADA’s office isn’t going to charge them with intent to distribute or drug sales. When they have a controlled buy, they are making sure that they have given the money before they do the arrest. There could be some consequences as to whether they will be able to sustain an intent to distribute charges as opposed to a possession charge in which a person can still be charged with a conspiracy or an attempt.
When a person gets charged with a conspiracy or an attempt, they are essentially being charged with the same crime. They are alleged to have conspired to do or attempted to do. Let’s say you get charged with attempt to distribute or conspiracy to distribute, and they are able to prove that you made substantial steps toward that goal, they may still get you for intent to distribute. However, whether a charge can be sustained or if there are other ways to do it are two separate things.
Could I Be Charged With Intent To Distribute If Law Enforcement Only Found A Small Amount Of Drugs?
A person can be charged with intent to distribute even if law enforcement only found a small amount of drugs. They can charge you with whatever they want, but it would be a bad case. The only thing that could make a case with a small amount of drugs a good case for intent to distribute is if they found bags, packing materials, scales, or things that would indicate the distribution of drugs. They have probably argued that you’ve already distributed a large amount of drugs and that is what you have left. That would be the argument in a case like this. If they have only found a small amount, they’d need to have also found a large amount of cash, scales, and baggies – things that people use to distribute or store drugs.
What Evidence Is Prosecution Looking For To Charge Someone With Distribution Of Drugs?
The evidence that prosecution is looking for to charge someone with distribution of drugs includes the drugs, the amount of drugs, scales, baggies, backpacks to hold the stuff, and large amounts of cash. They might have controlled buys or informants, but they will need some evidence to try to prove that the person intended to distribute the drugs. They can technically succeed with a jury just by saying it was a large amount of drugs. That’s really all they need. The intent can be inferred, but they have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can get a jury to really understand that, then the prosecution shouldn’t be able to win the case at trial. If not, you probably could get it reduced.
Should A Defendant Ever Cooperate With Authorities To Get A Lesser Drug Charge Or Sentence?
Whether a defendant cooperates with the authorities to get a lesser drug charge or sentence is up to them. However, if you do that prior to getting a lawyer, you are putting yourself at the mercy of the police. You have to assume that the police and the ADA are going to honor the deal. They do that a lot. They’ll charge somebody with intent to distribute and say they can get out of it if they help them with A, B, or C. That may work out for the defendant sometimes, but if it doesn’t, there isn’t a whole lot of recourse for the defendant. If you do it through an attorney, there are some more protections. The attorney can make some argument to the court that there’s misrepresentation.
It’s very sticky. Therefore, it’s something that you should talk over with an attorney. There are plenty of people who do it on their own. Some people act as informants and basically have a carte blanche to commit minor crimes. A lot of those informants even get paid for informing. Some get paid thousands of dollars for informing. Some people are put under a lot of pressure by the police, and that’s a risk. In the end, it may or may not work out.
Do You Recommend Pretrial Counseling Or Treatment For Drug Crime Offenders?
When a person has a drug case, it’s probably a good idea to seek treatment or pretrial counseling. I tell clients not to do it for a DUI because who knows what is going to happen. However, if you have a serious felony drug case, it doesn’t hurt to start treatment. Starting treatment could really help your defense, your case, and your attorney. To start a treatment, you would need to get evaluated by someone who does drug and alcohol assessments and do what they tell you to do. Doing a treatment or going to counseling shows that you are trying to do something about your issue. If it’s a case where the evidence is pretty good, then you can try to use the counseling or treatments to achieve a better outcome for your case.
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