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How could a defendant reduce an intent to distribute charge?


Being accused of a serious crime, such as drug charges, could mean facing harsh penalties. The details of the crime often dictate the severity of the charges and whether the accused will be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. While a conviction on a misdemeanor charge often means the defendant will still endure significant penalties, these are often less severe than a felony conviction. Moreover, the defendant would not have a felony conviction record, allowing that person to avoid the damaging effects a conviction could have on personal and professional life. Because of this, seeking reduced charges could be an effective defense option for some defendants facing drug charges.

How could a defendant reduce intent to distribute charge? First, this charge should be understood. According to the New York Law section 220.21, the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree occurs when an individual knowingly or unlawfully sells one or more preparations, compounds, substances or mixtures that contain a narcotic drug. In addition, it is of an aggregate weight of two ounces or more. New York residents could also face this charge if they knowingly or unlawfully sell methadone that weighs two thousand eight hundred eighty milligrams or more.

Because a weight is required for this class A-I felony, a defendant could use that to reduce the charges. Additionally, the law contends that the accused must knowingly and unlawfully sell the substances listed. A defendant could argue intent, providing evidence that challenges knowingly selling a controlled substance.

Whether a defendant seeks to reduce the criminal charges against them or seeks to have them dismissed, it is important to understand any and all defense options available. All defendants are afforded the right to a criminal defense, and it is important to be aware of the rights and options.

Source: Ypdcrim.com, "S 220.43 Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree," accessed Sept. 7, 2015

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