Intent to Distribute Drugs Lawyers in Topeka, Kansas
Drug dealing charges in Kansas —more correctly called “drug possession with intent to distribute” charges—are very severe, often leading to life-altering penalties.
Possession with intent to distribute is a step up in severity from simple possession of a controlled substance as it involves the actual, constructive or attempted transfer of the drug from one person to another.
Charges may be filed at a state or federal level but, either way, if convicted you face the prospect of a lengthy jail sentence, a significant fine, and a lifelong criminal record.
Experienced legal assistance from seasoned drug offense lawyers should be a priority to limit the consequences for your future. If you’re in the Topeka area of Kansas, book a free consultation with ITR Law if you are facing drug possession with intent to distribute charges.
Drug dealing charges in Kansas
Drug dealing charges vary in severity in Kansas but all could result in very serious penalties.
However, drug dealing cases are rarely “cut and dry”, especially if you work with an experienced defense lawyer who understands how law enforcement investigates and prosecutes these cases.
Even if drugs were found on you, the prosecution needs to prove that you intended to sell them to convict you of drug possession with intent to distribute.
Often, lengthy investigations must be conducted. How law enforcement gathers evidence during these investigations must stay within the constitutional search and seizure laws or the evidence may be inadmissible in court (more about possible defenses for drug dealing charges below).
As we begin building a defense, our lawyers thoroughly review the actions and decisions of law enforcement to ensure that the correct procedures were followed at all times during the investigation, arrest, and afterward.
Sometimes, informants are used by law enforcement and provide the key supporting evidence. If the informant is of questionable moral character, the evidence may be challenged in court and a reasonable doubt can be cast in jurors’ minds.
The drug offense lawyers at ITR Law aim to get drug dealing charges dismissed or, if that’s not possible, an acquittal at trial or downgraded charges with a plea bargain. Each case is unique and must first be discussed with an experienced attorney.
What are the penalties for intent to distribute drugs in Kansas?
All drug distribution charges are felony offenses in Kansas. The State has guideline penalties for drug possession with intent to distribute, depending on the amount and kind of controlled substances involved.
Judges in Kansas can also exercise some discretion to sentence as they see fit. They often take into account extenuating circumstances. For instance, gang involvement will elevate the seriousness of the crime.
If convicted at the state level, prison sentences generally range from 14 months to 17 years even for a first offense. A conviction for selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school will increase the length of the prison term, with a minimum prison term of 46 months.
Even possession with the intent to distribute 450g or more of marijuana is considered a felony in Kansas, with potentially significant prison time and steep fines.
Federal drug distribution charges may be laid if federal agencies such as the DEA are involved in the investigation of the alleged offense (more about this below).
Regardless of the prison term, the criminal record that will follow you around after a conviction will impact your future, often making employment, education, and travel more difficult. The loss of voting privileges and ineligibility for some government programs, such as food stamps, may also negatively impact some offenders.
With the right legal assistance and attitude, however, the consequences of a conviction can often be mitigated. For instance, an offender’s willingness to enter a drug rehabilitation program, do community service or perform other services for the good of society may reduce the sentence.
Defenses for possession with intent to deliver
To be convicted of possession with intent to distribute, the prosecutor must prove three elements:
- The substance in question was an illegal controlled substance
- The accused was not authorized or prescribed to use the substance
- The accused knowingly possessed the drug and delivered or planned to deliver it to another individual
The prosecution may use the testimony of informants, eyewitness accounts, drug packaging, and paraphernalia, as well as drug amounts to build their case against the defendant.
Most defenses center on one of the following arguments:
- Police misconduct: breach of 4th Amendment search and seizure rights of the defendant
- Authorization to possess the substance
- No possession of a controlled substance
- No knowledge of possession of the controlled substance
- No proof of planning to transfer the drug to another individual
What are federal drug distribution charges?
Federal agencies such as the DEA may push for drug dealing offenses to be prosecuted as federal cases. This escalates the severity of the crime and the potential penalties above a state-level prosecution because the federal government often wants to make an example of drug offenders.
The three main federal drug distribution charges are:
- Felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute
- Felony distribution of controlled substance (no proof of sale is needed for a conviction)
- Felony conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance
The third charge, “conspiracy”, is often used as a “fallback” plan for prosecutors who cannot prove one of the first two charges. The evidentiary requirements are lower for a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance charge to stick.
What are the penalties for federal drug distribution?
The severity of the penalties for federal drug distribution charges varies but all are felonies with lifelong repercussions.
A first-time offender found guilty of federal drug distribution charges with a Schedule I or Schedule II substance can face a 20-year prison sentence and up to $1 million in fines. Repeat offenders face 30 years and $2 million in fines. A mandatory minimum sentence of 5 or 10 years may also apply.
With such serious consequences for drug dealing charges in Kansas, it’s important to speak to the criminal defense lawyers at ITR Law in Topeka as soon as possible after being arrested. Book your free consultation today.
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