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Possession with Intent to Sell

A drug possession crime is serious enough on its own, but matters become even more distressing when a person is also accused of having had an intent to sell, deliver, or distribute a controlled substance. Possession with intent to sell requires not only an alleged offender to have committed an illegal act of possessing illegal drugs but also to have had mens rea, or the Latin phrase for “a guilty mind.”

 

Criminal intent is one of the most difficult aspects of a case for a prosecutor to prove because they have virtually no way to demonstrate what an alleged offender was thinking without some kind of recorded confession to the fact. The quantities of drugs involved often dictate the filing or intent to sell charges, but other kinds of factors can also inform these decisions.

Possession with Intent to Sell

Plano Possession with Intent to Sell Lawyer

If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged drug possession with intent to sell in the greater Plano area, you cannot afford to delay in seeking legal representation. You will want the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

 

Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Our firm can discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Proving Intent to Sell in Texas Drug Possession Cases

Intent to sell is usually based on large quantities of drugs. In some cases, other circumstantial evidence could be the basis for intent to sell charges.

 

“There is no statutory presumption regarding the evidence to prove possession with intent to deliver,” the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote in Branch v. State, 599 S.W.2d 324, 325 (Tex. Crim.App.1980). The case involved a man sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of possession with intent to deliver heroin.

 

The Court of Criminal Appeals noted that other jurisdictions have generally concluded that evidence of large quantities of a controlled substance or evidence of large quantities coupled with other factors such as packaging material is sufficient to support an inference that the possession was with intent to deliver. In the case in question, the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the man being in possession of enough heroin to make 2,864 “hits,” the heroin being secreted in various places through his vehicle, and some of it being packaged in small quantities as well as nearly $8,000 in small bills led to the conclusion that the “only reasonable explanation for these facts is that Branch was actively engaged in the business of selling heroin” and the evidence was sufficient.

 

In general, common kinds of circumstantial evidence that are often used to argue an intent to sell include, but are not limited to:

 

●    Quality or purity of the controlled substance

●    Large amounts of cash

●    Electronic messages to the alleged offender from other parties

●    Arrest location (if alleged offense occurred in area known for drug activity)

●    Drug paraphernalia, such as baggies, scales, or other packaging materials

Possession with Intent to Sell Penalties in Collin County

Manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance offenses are established under the Texas Controlled Substance Act. The Penalty Group that a controlled substance falls under dictates the possible consequences of a conviction in these cases.

 

Possession with intent to sell crimes are generally classified as follows:

 

Penalty Group

Amount

Classification

Penalties

Penalty  Group 1

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.112

(Hydrocodone, Cocaine, Oxycodone,  Heroin, Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid [GHB], Methamphetamine, and other opiates)

Less than 1 gram

State Jail Felony

Up to two years in state jail and/or  fine of up to $10,000

1 gram or more but less than 4 grams

Second-Degree Felony

Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of  up to $10,000

4 grams or more but less than 200 grams

First-Degree Felony

Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or  fine of up to $10,000

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

Enhanced First-Degree Felony

Minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or  life in prison and/or fine of up to $100,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-Degree Felony

Minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or  life in prison and/or fine of up to $250,000

Penalty  Group 1-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.1121

(Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD),  including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, and other compounds)

Fewer than 20 units

State Jail Felony

Up to two years in state jail and/or fine  of up to $10,000

20 or more units but fewer than 80 units

Second-Degree Felony

Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up  to $10,000

80 or more units but fewer than 4,000  units

First-Degree Felony

Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or  fine of up to $10,000

4,000 or more units

Enhanced First-Degree Felony

Minimum of 15 years up to 99 years or life  in prison and/or fine of up to $250,000

Penalty  Group 2 or 2-A

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.113

(Methaqualone, Amphetamine, Psilocybin  [mushrooms], 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine [MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly],  and other hallucinogens)

Less than 1 gram

State Jail Felony

Up to two years in state jail and/or fine  of up to $10,000

1 gram or more but less than 4 grams

Second-Degree Felony

Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up  to $10,000

4 grams or more but less than 400 grams

First-Degree Felony

Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or  fine of up to $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-Degree Felony

Minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life  in prison and/or fine of up to $100,000

Penalty  Group 3 or 4

Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.114

(Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Clorazepate,  Diazepam, Fludiazepam, Flurazepam, Halazepam, Ketazolam, Lorazepam, Lysergic  acid, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, Medazepam,  Pentobarbital, Secobarbital, Tetrazepam, Zolpidem)

Less than 28 grams

State Jail Felony

Up to two years in state jail and/or fine  of up to $10,000

28 grams or more but less than 200 grams

Second-Degree Felony

Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up  to $10,000

200 grams or more but less than 400 grams

First-Degree Felony

Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or  fine of up to $10,000

400 grams or more

Enhanced First-Degree Felony

Minimum of 10 years up to 99 years or life  in prison and/or fine of up to $100,000

Possession with Intent to Sell Defenses in Plano

Not all circumstantial evidence presented as proof of intent to sell necessarily indicates an intent to sell. Because criminal intent is so difficult to prove, an alleged offender will often have a strong case that there was no intent to sell simply by denying the accusation.

 

A criminal defense attorney can review specific aspects of your case to determine possible explanations for circumstantial evidence that prosecutors are relying on. When a prosecutor has reason to doubt the strength of their case, they may be more willing to accept a reduction or dismissal of the criminal charges.

Plano Possession with Intent to Sell Resources

Texas | Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)— FAMM identifies itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting for smart sentencing laws that protect public safety.” The Texas section of the FAMM website contains quick facts about the state’s prison population and information about mandatory minimum laws in Texas. Ways to advocate for sentencing reform are also published here.

 

North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area | Department of Justice — View a 2011 drug market analysis for the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). Collin County falls within the Texoma region on the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) HIDTA map. Methamphetamine was the primary drug threat to the region, but the abuse of controlled prescription drugs, pervasive availability of marijuana,and criminal activities of Mexican drug trafficking organizations also posed considerable threats to the region.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Possession with Intent to Sell Attorney

Were you or your loved one arrested for alleged possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in Plano or another community in Collin County? Try not to say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel.

 

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can aggressively defend your rights. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

 

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