Attempted Drug Possession With Intent to Distribute- FEDERAL

FEDERAL ATTEMPTED DRUG POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE 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 Possession With Intent to Distribute- 21 U.S.C 841 and 21 U.S.C. 846 

To be convicted of the federal drug crime of attempted drug possession with the intent to distribute, the government must prove the following two (2) essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the Accused intended to commit the federal crime of drug possession with the intent to distribute and (2) the Accused did an act constituting a substantial step towards the commission of that crime.

The federal crime of attempted drug possession with the intent to distribute 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.

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 a measurable amount of the controlled substance was, in fact, knowingly and intentionally possessed by the Accused.

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 was possessed. The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that Accused did know that some type of controlled substance or narcotic drug was possessed.

The term “to possess” means to exercise control or authority over something at a given time. There are several types of possession—constructive, sole, and joint.

“Possession” is considered to be actual when a person knowingly has direct physical control or authority over something. The “possession” is called constructive when a person does not have direct physical control over something, but can knowingly control it and intends to control it, sometimes through another person.

“Possession” may be knowingly exercised by one person exclusively, which is called sole possession or may be knowingly exercised jointly, when it is shared by two or more persons.
 
To “possess with intent to distribute” simply means to possess with intent to deliver or transfer possession of a controlled substance to another person, with or without any financial interest in the transaction.

In attempting to prove the intent of any person, the government may show, among other things, the purity of the controlled substance, the quantity of the controlled substance, the presence of equipment used in the processing or sale of controlled substances, and large amounts of cash or weapons.

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  and is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or by their agents to commit the offense.

 
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