PWID charges, or possession with intent to distribute, can be very serious drug crime charges. If convicted, you stand to face much harsher penalties than you do for simple drug possession charges. In fact, the punishments are more severe the more drugs are found in your possession. Here’s what you should know about PWID charges and how to fight for your rights under California law.
What Do California Prosecutors Have to Prove in a PWID Case?
In order to be successful, California prosecutors must prove three elements of the crime:
- The substance the defendant was found to be in possession of was a controlled and/or illegal substance
- To prove this point, prosecutors must prove that the defendant was in actual or constructive possession of the substance. They also must prove that the substance was controlled or illegal
- The defendant had the motive to distribute and/or sell the controlled substances
- The defendant had knowledge and intent of the above
If prosecutors are unable to prove one or more elements of the crime, the case against the defendant may become weakened.
Deconstructing the Prosecution’s Case Against You
The most successful defense strategies systematically deconstruct each point of the prosecution’s case by providing evidence. Some common defenses may include evidence that:
- The defendant had no knowledge of the drugs or motive to distribute them (e.g., a case where a trafficker hid drugs in the backpack of an unsuspecting person at the airport)
- The defendant did not have actual or constructive possession of the drugs and that the drugs may have belonged to someone else (e.g., if a person was riding in a friend’s car and drugs were found in the trunk)
- The substance in question was not an illegal or controlled substance (e.g., the substance was chemically tested and was another substance entirely)
Depending on what evidence actually exists in the case, one or more of the above strategies could be used. If a defense attorney can deconstruct more than one point in the prosecutor’s case, the chances of receiving a not-guilty verdict for the defendant is much higher.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Don Matson Today
If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute, don’t wait to get legal help. Your future is on the line. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, PC today to learn more about how you can defend your rights under the law after being arrested for PWID. Call now at (626) 792-1900.