Our government is creative when it comes to allegations of Sale and Delivery or Intent to Sell or Deliver. Typically, these allegations come in two common fact scenarios. First, the undercover, confidential source sets up a deal and someone is arrested for Sale & Delivery. Or, second, a possession of cocaine case is charged as “With Intent to Sell or Deliver” because the packaging of the drug is allegedly consistent with that of a drug dealer.
It’s common knowledge that our government is allowed to “break the law” by buying and selling illegal drugs. The government does it every day, in the hopes of arresting a citizen for Sale and Delivery of a Controlled Substance. Sometimes, the government sets up a drug deal with the help of CI’s (Confidential Informants) or CS’s (Confidential Sources). Typically, a CI gets arrested on serious charges (such as trafficking) and agrees to provide “substantial assistance” to the government in exchange for a lighter sentence.
In CI cases, the star witness for the government has a major incentive to “create” a case, and this can lead to all sorts of legal problems for the government’s case, including entrapment. When entrapment exists, criminal defense attorney John Guidry will file a Motion to Dismiss because the Florida statutes allow for such when the police have induced someone to commit an offense that they, but for police inducement, would not have committed.
Sometimes, a sale & delivery charge amounts to nothing more than being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. If it can be shown that the drug deal was actually set up and conducted by someone else, then a person’s mere presence during a transaction will not be enough to convict (though, of course, it will be enough for an arrest, unfortunately). I’ve written an article analyzing just such a case in “Hanging Out with a Drug Dealer Can Be Trouble“, follow this link to read the entire article.
Simple drug possession charges can be enhanced through an accusation of possession with intent to sell or deliver. Don’t let the language fool you, the government doesn’t necessarily have any hard evidence that the person is a “drug dealer”, but rather law enforcement enhances simple drug possessions to “with intent” where they deem the packaging of the drugs found to be beyond that of personal use. There is no clear cut rule on this, though the more baggies and cash found, the more likely a “with intent” charge will stick. We see this frequently on Possession of Cannabis cases, because, really, baggies of marijuana are inexpensive, so it’s common for buyers to purchase multiple baggies at one time, giving law enforcement the impression that the weed is packaged for ‘sale’ rather than simply recently purchase. For example, a single ziplop baggie containing 12 grams of cannabis is only a misdemeanor (actually, possession of cannabis under 20 grams is a misdemeanor), yet that same 12 grams of marijuana may be upgraded to a felony “Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell or Deliver” when 12 grams is divided up into twenty-four 1/2 gram individual baggies.
Another enhancement to a simple drug possession charge is known as “Trafficking”. Trafficking in a controlled substance simply means that you were found to have a large amount of a drug. The weight (measured in grams) required to make a possession a “trafficking” charge varies, depending on the substance. For example, it takes very little Oxycontin to reach the trafficking in Oxycodone threshold, because most Florida courts have held that the weight of the entire pill can be used to reach the trafficking requirement, even though the Oxycontin pill may only contain 5-15% of the actual illegal substance, with the remaining 85%+ of the pill simply containing a legal filler substance such as acetominphine. I’ve written a few articles on the trafficking pill weight issues, for more details check out “Federal Government Abandoned Unfair Trafficking Sentences Long Ago, Florida Still Holding On“.
Mr. Guidry has been an Orlando criminal defense attorney, handling drug charges, since 1993. Let this experience go to work for you. Give criminal attorney John Guidry a call anytime, for a free confidential consultation. We have reasonable fees, and payment plans are available.