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Possession with Intent to Deliver

A distinction is drawn between "possession" and "possession with intent to deliver" under Washington law. Prosecutors attempt to prove intent to deliver by showing a large amount of drugs, by showing sales records, a large amount of money, or the presence of scales. However, under the case of State v. Lopez, proof of possession of a large amount of drugs, without more, may not support a finding of intent to deliver.Possession with Intent to Deliver

Someone who is strictly a consumer of drugs may have a scale to assure that he or she is getting what is paid for. The presence of paraphernalia such as pipes or needles is often used by a criminal defense lawyer to show that the defendant intended to use the substance himself rather than sell it. Possession with intent to deliver is punishable under Washington law much the same way delivery is. One count of possession of methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine with intent to deliver brings a standard range sentence of 12 to 20 months for a person with no prior record. There are also sentencing enhancements that could be added.

Unless an individual is a licensed marijuana seller, the possession of marijuana with intent to deliver brings a standard range penalty of 0 to 6 months. There is often a fine line between "possession" and "possession with intent to deliver." It is important to have a criminal defense lawyer with experience in drug cases who can fight such a serious accusation. In order to prove intent to deliver, prosecutors will often try to bring up a defendant's prior alleged instances of delivery, or prior convictions. Generally speaking, this is not allowed under the case of State v. Wade, and a defense lawyer needs to fight tooth and nail to keep such evidence out so that his client is not prejudiced in the eyes of the jury.

If you have a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, please call our office to set up a free consultation with one of our defense lawyers.