Whether it’s because of a struggle with addiction or due to misguided choices around the sale of drugs, any drug charge has the potential to disrupt job opportunities and college prospects. But while one mistake shouldn’t have the power to disrupt a person’s life, the stakes are considerable when it comes to certain felony drug crimes. Possession of a Schedule II drug with the intent to distribute is serious, and it may feel overwhelming wondering what impact the charge will have on you or your child.
However, such charges are often challenging for authorities to prove, and a strong drug defense attorney can push back on them. How are these charges determined, and what defenses can a felony drug lawyer use?
What are Schedule II drugs and how are they sentenced?
Georgia breaks down drugs into schedules. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and may lead to psychological or physical dependence. Examples include amphetamines, cocaine, codeine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, opium and hydrocodone.
The schedule of the drug in question, along with the amount the individual possessed, determines the punishment. Unfortunately, intent to distribute charges only add to the seriousness of Schedule II drug charges. Law enforcement may decide that an individual intended to distribute the drugs if the amount was more than one person might use, for example, or if the drugs were packaged in small units.
Defenses for drug charges with the intent to distribute
Because of the high stakes, it’s important to have a felony drug defense attorney who understands the weaknesses in many intent to distribute cases.
Prosecutors have to demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—something that can be challenging in such cases. They have to show that:
- The defendant possessed the drug, either on their person (actual possession) or in their car, house or workplace (constructive possession).
- The defendant knew about the drugs.
- The defendant planned to distribute the drugs and not just use them personally.
A Schedule II drug lawyer may be able to defend against the charges by proving that there was a lack of intent, the amount found was too small, the police made mistakes or the individual is innocent.
In some cases, first-time offenders may be able to enter diversion programs. While programs differ tremendously based on location, an individual may be able to avoid a criminal conviction entirely by performing community service work, attending classes and counseling, paying court fees, agreeing to drug testing or any combination of these.
Take the First Four Steps to Protecting Your Future
- Contact us to schedule a time to discuss your situation.
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Speak with an attorney as soon as possible
Charges of possessing Schedule II drugs with the intent to distribute have the potential to disrupt you or your loved one’s plans for the future. But an experienced attorney can often fight these hard-to-prove charges. Call us at 770-720-6336 for a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting. If you aren’t ready to set up a consultation, then click here to download our complimentary eBook, 5 Things Not to Do When You’ve Been Charged with a Crime, to learn what you need to know to start protecting your future immediately.