Possession With Intent to Deliver (PWID) charges are very common in cases involving drugs. While mere possession of a controlled substance is usually an ungraded misdemeanor, PWID cases are ungraded felonies, which is a big step up. The key difference between the two and the focus at trial on PWID charges is the intent element. Did the defendant intend to sell or transfer the drugs in question?
The determination of whether the intent to deliver is established is done on a totality of the circumstances test. The court will direct the jury to consider all of the surrounding circumstances of the situation to determine whether the drugs were for sale or for transfer, or whether instead they were for personal use. Factors which the courts have deemed relevant to establish intent to deliver are: the presence of a large quantity of drugs, the presence of drug paraphernalia, the presence of large sums of cash, whether the drugs were divided up into separate distributable quantities, and the behavior of the defendant in the case. In borderline cases where the quantity of drugs is debatable as to whether it is for personal use an expert may be called in to testify as to whether intent to deliver exists.
Unfortunately for those who use drugs in large quantities with no intent of selling or sharing those drugs, you may find yourself facing these felony PWID charges at the onset of your criminal case. Whether it is charged that way as leverage by an overzealous prosecutor, or you just have a particularly outstanding appetite for drugs, you may find yourself charged with PWID in a case where you were only using the drugs yourself. The government and prosecutors may argue that no individual could intend to smoke an entire ounce of weed themselves, or go through dozens of bags of heroin in a day. Unfortunately, a big swathe of the general population that may sit on a jury has little to no knowledge of how drugs work or how they are consumed. Many people still believe movies like Reefer Madness are based on truthful reality.
Most people think PWID charges are for the shady dealer pushing drugs on a street corner. However, in reality, many PWID charges come from much more common scenarios. College is a common setting for PWID charges, as drugs are quite common on a college campus. You may be using controlled substances at a party and be asked for some by someone who might seem just like you. They might ask to split a quarter of weed with you or a few hits of ecstasy next time you buy. But shortly after you give them their share, you find yourself facing felony charges! Undercover cops and confidential informants can be quite young and look a lot like you. A felony PWID charge can get your kicked out of college and shut a lot of doors in your professional future.
If you or a loved one has been charged with PWID, you need an experienced attorney to prepare your defense. Whether you have serious substance abuse issues, or are just a college kid who has just made a big mistake, its important that you have an experienced professional to fight for you. Attorney Frank Walker is just the attorney for you. Attorney Walker has experience handling cases ranging from your average college student with small quantities as well as representing those found with significant quantities of heroin and other hard drugs.
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, Super Lawyer and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.