DC Drug Distribution Lawyer

For simple possession of drugs and drug use, it is very common to have an individual possess an amount of drugs for their personal use. While that is against the law, it is not considered to be an activity that directly and negatively affects society at large to the same extent as someone involved in drug trafficking, which is someone making their career choice or income producing activity to be the distribution of drugs. Possession of drugs is still against the law and is pursued, but, to a large extent, the focus remains very sharply on drug distribution.

In DC, it is now legal to possess a small quantity of marijuana, but it still illegal to possess any quantity of marijuana with the intent to distribute that marijuana. It is okay under the law to possess a small amount for someone’s personal use. However, if a person possesses the same amount with the intent to give it to others, that is against the law. If you have been accused of a drug distribution charge, it is important that you contact a DC drug distribution lawyer as soon as possible. A drug defense attorney will be able to gather all the necessary evidence and mount a strong case to help fight for a lessening or dismissal of the charge.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Drug Cases

It is useful to look at the notion of severity in a drug distribution case in two senses. The first is how the prosecution views the case and how hard they seek a conviction. The other is the severity of the punishment. The quantity of drugs involved directly influences how the prosecutors view the case and how strongly they pursue a conviction. When the quantity of drugs is very small, the prosecutors may be amenable to a scenario where they agree to dispose or end the case without a conviction or the possibility of reducing it down to a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony, which can be assisted by the knowledge of a DC drug distribution attorney.

When there is a large quantity of drugs involved, the prosecutors are more likely to seek a felony conviction with real punishment involved. The sentencing guidelines at the DC Superior Court level do not factor in the amount of drugs involved. A judge considers it, which can affect how they sentence a defendant. It does not, however, automatically increase a punishment for having more drugs as opposed to fewer drugs. That differs from the federal sentencing guidelines. In a federal case, the amount of drugs involved directly affects the severity of the punishment. It is possibly the most significant factor when looking at the punishment besides the person’s criminal history.

Potential Aggravating Factor

An aggravating factor that can specifically affect the punishment is when an individual possesses a weapon along with drugs with the intent to distribute. Possession with intent to distribute drugs is viewed as a dangerous crime in DC and in many jurisdictions because there is so much violence involved in the drug trade.

When an individual possesses a weapon while they also possess drugs, there are additional charges and the two of those put together can involve specific charges that to have a mandatory prison time. That is an aggravating factor both in how the prosecutors charge and treat the case and how a court sentences the defendant because there can be mandatory prison time. An experienced DC drug distribution lawyer can help to reduce any potential penalties associated with the charge.

Severity of the Charge

Law enforcement in DC has been focusing on drug distribution for a long time. That remains the situation despite the changes with regard to possession of marijuana for personal use. DC was one of the first jurisdictions to decriminalize marijuana for personal use. However, the distribution of marijuana, like the distribution of any other drugs, is viewed very seriously and is actively prosecuted and investigated. Because the prosecutors pursue these cases so strongly, an individual should not hesitate before hiring a DC drug distribution lawyer.