Can I be charged with possession and can that charge be changed to a drug sell? 30 Answers as of September 15, 2012

If a transaction was exchanged drugs for money then the dealer later gets arrested and charged with possession for the drugs he sold. How can the police charge him with possession? Shouldn’t that be a "sell" charge instead of a "possession"?

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
They can also charge him with possession with intent to sell.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/15/2012
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Sale or "Delivery" is more serious than mere "Possession." It could be amended later.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/15/2012
Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
Hire an attorney to defend you and he or she will go over the facts of the case and the strengths and weaknesses of the people's case against you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/15/2012
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
If the police can prove that you sold, exchanged, or gave a person drugs that is a "sale" and a more serious charge. If they can only prove that you had possession of drugs they can charge you with possession or possession with the intent to sell, which is a much more serious B felony that has a maximum of 9 years in jail. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to handle the case and contest the search and seizure of the drugs.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/15/2012
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
He possessed them before he sold them.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/15/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Since they are all felony drugs charges, who cares? Prison will feel the same whether you are convicted of possession or possession with intent to distribute.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Unless there are more facts, you are correct.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    They can decide what to charge you with.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can they charge you? Of course. On any charge they think they have evidence and can convict you. You?ll learn the actual charge[s] and any enhancements filed and get copies of all the police reports and prosecutor's evidence when appearing for arraignment at the first court hearing. Police and prosecutors can add or amend charges at any time. Can the case end up being reduced or dropped? Sure. But, the police and prosecutors don't spend time and money arresting, charging and prosecuting cases only to drop them without a fight, and a reason to do so. When charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or statement be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, program, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    The police don't decide what a person is charged with. The District Attorney makes that decision. That decision is based on the strength of the evidence and other factors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    What that party is charged with is a descretionary decision by the prosecutor's office and the police.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    It probably should, but a possession charge is easier for the prosecution to prove since they just have to show that at one time you had the drugs. On the positive side of things, a possession charge is less harsh than a selling charge.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    It appears it could be a sell case. However, if the police did not have a witness to the sell case and only arested this person in possession of c/s that would be all they could arrest them for.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The DA can charge him with whatever the DA pleases. Sometimes they act mercifully, while other times they act with a vengeance!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    The police can't charge anybody with anything. Only the District Attorney (Or U.S. Attorney on a federal charge) has the authority to charge someone with a crime. They can charge you with possession if you knowingly possessed illegal drugs. They can charge you with possession for sale if you possessed the drugs with intent to sell them. But, in both cases, the prosecution must prove these things beyond a reasonable doubt. They might only charge possession if they don't think the have enough evidence to prove possession for sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    The sale is a higher degree offense. The defendant had to possess it in order to sell it. So, your complaint is that the state has not charged you with a greater offense?
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/15/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The charge of delivery of a controlled substance is far more serious than simple possession. The state can't charge delivery unless they have proof of the drugs being delivered.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2012
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