I Was Charged with ‘Possession With Intent to Distribute - What Does That Mean?

man's hands handcuffed with cocaine on table next to him

Drug charges are some of the most common in the country. With minor violations ranging to felony offenses, there are a lot of different ways your drug case could go. Let’s discuss a possession with intent to distribute charge, the potential penalties, and what you should do immediately following an arrest.

What is a Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID) Charge?

Possession with intent to distribute (PWID), also referred to as possession with intent to sell, is a common drug charge that is more severe than standard possession. If charged with PWID, this means that officers believe there is evidence suggesting that you planned to sell the drugs in your possession.

The evidence they may use to make this inference includes:

  • Large amounts of the drug in your possession
  • A significant amount of cash in your possession
  • Small bags for packaging the drugs
  • A scale for weighing the drugs
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Online communications stating plans to make a transaction

Any combination of this evidence may be used as prosecutors work to build a case against you.

What are the Penalties Possession with Intent to Distribute in New York?

While simple possession is typically a misdemeanor, possession with intent to distribute is a felony offense in New York. PWID is punishable by multiple years in jail and expensive fines.

Know Your Rights: Protecting Yourself from a PWID Charge

One of the best protections you have from drug charges is knowing your rights. Let’s go over some crucial information relevant to drug cases.

  • Your Right to Silence: from the moment you begin interacting with the police, you have the right to remain silent. Be sure to explicitly state that you’re using your right to remain silent. By doing this, you can prevent yourself from unintentionally self-incriminating.
  • Your Right to an Attorney: a drug crime defense attorney will be able to guide you through your case and ensure you take each necessary step and precaution to reach a favorable outcome. Always use your right to an attorney and don’t risk trying to represent yourself, especially for a felony charge.
  • Illegal Search: illegal search and seizure is a common issue in drug cases. If you or your vehicle are searched, immediately take notes of everything you can remember following the incident. Your attorney can use this information to investigate whether or not the search incident to arrest was legal. In general, if you did not consent to a search and there was no evidence in plain view, the police search was likely illegal.
  • Entrapment: though rare, it’s important to be aware of the entrapment defense. Your case may fit if a police officer tricked or forced you into committing a crime you wouldn’t have were it not for their influence.

What To Do After Being Arrested for PWID

  • Contact our defense team at Kenneth E. Belkin, Esq.
  • Don’t discuss your case with others or online
  • Take note of everything you can remember about your arrest
  • Collect evidence that can help your case
  • Be honest with your attorney; this will allow them to better defend your case
  • If out on bond, follow all conditions to avoid further charges or consequences

New York City Possession with Intent Defense Attorneys

Know that simply being arrested does not mean you will be convicted. Give yourself the best chance by working with our team at Kenneth E. Belkin, Esq.. We have helped numerous individuals facing misdemeanor and felony drug charges, and we want to help you too. Discuss your case with a member of our team during an initial consultation. Click here to set up an appointment or give us a call at (718) 395-6755.