A drug distribution case is an extremely stressful situation that may take a toll on your life. The state and federal law frown upon the distribution of drugs, thus, you can get into big trouble when caught in such a criminal act in Metairie, Gretna, or Kenner.
Drug distribution means possession of drugs/ controlled substances with the intent to sell. It also involves the manufacturing or production of drugs with the intent to sell. A person can be charged for drug distribution if they are found to possess drugs/controlled substances in large quantities- this may be used to prove the intention to sell the drugs.
What Kind Of Drugs Are Deemed Illegal?
Drugs with high potential for abuse and addiction are prohibited in Jefferson Parish. Such drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, GHB, Quaaludes, amphetamines, and methamphetamines. Distributing these drugs in Gretna, Kenner, or Metairie is a violation of the state and federal laws.
These drugs are put into categories depending on their potential for abuse or addiction. The drugs mentioned above belong to schedule I & II, a category for highly dangerous drugs. The distribution of these drugs is punished as a felony crime in Jefferson Parish.
What Is The Difference Between Drug Distribution and Drug Possession?
Both Drug Possession and Drug Distribution are criminal offenses in Jefferson Parish and its cities. The state law and federal law states that it is unlawful to possess controlled substances unless such substances are obtained by a valid prescription.
The main distinction between the two crimes can be proven by the quantity of controlled substance found on you. If you are caught with a quantity that is beyond personal use, you will be charged with Drug Distribution- possession of drugs with an intent to distribute. But, if you have just a little quantity of drugs in your possession, you will go in for possession of drug offense rather than a drug distribution offense.
What Are The Elements of Drug Distribution?
For any drug distribution situation, the prosecution must be able to establish two elements to prove that the defendant is guilty as charged. The elements to be proven include;
I. Physical possession- the prosecution has the first claim on you if you are caught in possession of a large quantity of drug/controlled substances. This simply means you are in possession of illegal substances when the police caught up with you.
II. Intent to distribute- the second element proves that you have drugs in your possession and you intend to sell them. Intent can be established through circumstantial evidence. Concrete evidence of intent to distribute can be established if you possess drug paraphernalia used to package drugs, cash or receipts that show sign of payment from selling drugs
What Situations Can Get Me Punished For Drug Distribution?
- If the police find a large quantity of drugs under your control, whether in your home or car, you can be charged for drug distribution. Drug being under your control simply means you are aware of the presence of the drug in your home or car.
- If you are caught in the act of selling drugs, you will be charged for drug distribution. Police go undercover to gather strong evidence on suspects, so if you attempt to sell drugs to an undercover officer, a direct intent to distribute can be proven.
- You can be charged for drug distribution if you possess drug paraphernalia, materials used in making, concealing, or using drugs. These materials may include a measuring scale, small spoons, foil, nylon, paper tubes, dust masks, roaches clips, straws, etc. They can serve as substantial evidence to prove you guilty of drug distribution.
- Having a substantial sum of money and streams of short-time visitors, as well as, possessing drugs can earn you a drug distribution charge in Gretna, Kenner, and Metairie.
What Are The Possible Penalties For A Drug Distribution Crime in Jefferson?
Jefferson has a tough law concerning Drug distribution. Anyone charged with drug distribution can face felony penalties in Jefferson Parish. The sentence may vary widely and rely upon the type/schedule and quantity of drugs found on you. Drugs distribution in Jefferson is punished as follows;
- Anyone found with drugs weighing less than 28 grams shall be sentenced to prison for not less than 1 year nor more than 10 years, with or without hard labor, and made to pay a fine of not more than $50,000.
- Anyone found with drugs weighing 28 grams or more shall be sentenced to prison for not less than 1 year nor more than 20 years with hard labor, and fined not more than $50,000.
- Anyone caught manufacturing or producing Amphetamines and Methamphetamine for distribution shall be sentenced to not less than 10 years nor more than 30 years imprisonment. The offender must at least serve 10 years without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. In addition to the prison time, they may be fined up to $500,000.
- If a minor child of 12 years or younger is present in the home or place of distribution, the crime is aggravated, following the “Child Endangerment Law”. If the defendant is found to have exposed a minor to the commission of the offense, they will serve the minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years, without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
What Do I Do If I Get Charged For Drug Distribution in Jefferson?
A drug distribution conviction is a big deal as you have to face consequences ranging from possible jail time to a criminal record. Ignorance on the next step to take when charged for a crime like this may make matters worse. So, you should immediately seek legal assistance from an experienced drug distribution attorney.
Have You Been Charged for Drug Distribution in Jefferson Parish?
If yes, you should contact Barkemeyer Law Firm now. Matters may get worse without an attorney, so the first and most important thing to do when you have a drug distribution charge is to contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm. We prepare you for the case, review the facts, explain your options to you, and help you get the best possible outcome.