Attempted Drug Distribution-FEDERAL

FEDERAL ATTEMPTED DRUG DISTRIBUTION CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY- ALEXANDRIA, HARRISONBURG, RICHMOND, CHARLOTTESVILLE, GREENBELT, BALTIMORE, WASHINGTON, DC, NORFOLK, ROANOKE

VIRGINIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER - Alexandria, Arlington, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Culpepper, Fairfax, Falls Church, Greenbelt, Harrisonburg, Leesburg, Loudoun County, Manassas, Norfolk, Prince William, Richmond, Roanoke, Stafford, Warrenton, Winchester, Vienna, Washington, DC.

Attempted Drug Distribution- 21 U.S.C. 841 and 21 U.S.C. 846

To be convicted of the federal drug crime of attempted drug distribution, the government must prove the following three (3) essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the Accused intended to deliver a controlled substance to another person; (2) the Accused knew that it was a controlled substance; and (3) the Accused did something that was a substantial step toward committing the crime.

The federal crime of attempted drug distribution requires “an intent to engage in criminal conduct and the performance of acts which constitute a ‘substantial step’ towards the commission of the substantive offense.”

A substantial step, as used above, must be something more than mere preparation, yet may be less than the last act necessary before the actual commission of the substantive crime. In order for behavior to be punishable as an attempt, it must be necessary to the consummation of the crime and be of such a nature that a reasonable observer, viewing it in context could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that it was undertaken in accordance with a design to violate the statute.  Accordingly, to prove the Accused is guilty of attempted drug possession with the intent to distribute, the government is required to prove the Accused engaged in numerous preliminary steps which brand the enterprise as criminal.

A person is entrapped when that person has no previous intent or disposition or willingness to commit the crime charged and is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or by their agents to commit the offense.

The term “controlled substance” means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of title 21 U.S.C. 812. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

 The term “narcotic drug” means any of the following whether produced directly or indirectly by extraction from substances of vegetable origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis:
(A) Opium, opiates, derivatives of opium and opiates …

(B) A compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, or preparation of opium, coca leaves, or opiates.
(C) A substance (and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, or preparation thereof) which is chemically identical with any of the substances referred to in clause (A) or (B).

(D) Cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of isomers.

(F) Any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of any of the substances referred to in subparagraphs (A) through (E)

The government need not prove the actual amount of the controlled substance.  The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the Accused attempted to distribute a measurable amount of the controlled substance.

It is also not necessary for the government to prove that the Accused knew the precise nature of the controlled substance or narcotic drug that the Accused attempted to distribute. The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that Accused did know that some type of controlled substance or narcotic drug was involved.

A physician or pharmacist may not be convicted when he or she dispenses controlled substances in good faith to patients in the regular course of professional practice. Only the lawful acts of a physician or pharmacist, however, are exempted from prosecution under the law.

A person is entrapped when that person has no previous intent or disposition or willingness to commit the crime charged and is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or by their agents to commit the offense.
 

 
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