Interviewer: Today we are going to be talking about drug violations. If we can get an overview of some of these, what can you tell us about that first of all?
Court: The most common drug involved in offenses is probably marijuana; it’s not a surprise to anybody. You see quite a bit of marijuana violations. There are also other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. On occasion, other drugs are involved, like LSD.
There are also a good amount of violations that have to do with prescription drugs that are being used without a prescription. Those drugs include MVA, Zoloft, anti-depressants and others. Prescription drugs attributed to violations also include Lotab or codeine or oxycodone; those are probably the most common ones that I see.
Drug-Related Charges: Possession versus Intent to Sell
Interviewer: What makes the difference when I hear the term of possession versus intent to sell? What does that mean?
Court: According to the law it’s illegal to possess a drug for any reason, no matter what you plan to do with it. Usually if somebody has a drug the theory is that they plan to use it themselves. It’s illegal to use the drug and it’s illegal to just even possess the drug. That’s the first step on the ladder of drug violations.
Intent to Sell Is a More Serious Offense than Possession of Drugs
If you have a large quantity of the drug it becomes something that maybe you wouldn’t just be using for yourself but you would be distributing to other people. That is the more serious violation—so you can have the intent to distribute charge and it’s different than a possession charge; the penalties attached are more severe.
Usually the intent charge is applied comes to a larger quantity of drugs. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a larger quantity of drugs to see the charge. If there is some evidence that the prosecutor can provide that shows that you had some intent to distribute the drug, you planned sell to somebody else, give it to somebody else, anything like that, then they could charge you with intent to distribute.
Interviewer: Over the years how many cases do you think you have handled that were drug related?
Court: Quite a few, it’s very common.