Washington DC Drug Lawyer
In Washington DC, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally manufacture, distribute, possess, or possess with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. If you are facing any of these charges, a lawyer with experience in drug cases can help you guide you through the Washington DC legal system.
A person cannot knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance in Washington DC unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice. Possession of a controlled substance carries a potential sentence of 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Depending on the amount and type of the controlled substance at issue, a conviction for possession with intent to distribute or for distribution of a controlled substance in Washington DC can carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and/or a $500,000 fine.
The term “controlled substance” means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in specified statutory schedules. The term controlled substance, however, does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco. In a prosecution for unlawful possession of a controlled substance in DC, the government has to establish two elements: the nature of the substance and possession by the defendant. Possession is defined in terms of personal custody and control. The government may establish that possession is either actual or constructive.
Actual possession means that the substance is in the physical custody of the person charged with possession (i.e. in the person’s pocket or hand), while constructive possession in Washington DC means that the goods are not actually or physically possessed, but that the person charged has dominion and control over the goods.
For a greater explanation of the drug laws in Washington DC you can read the District of Columbia Official Code.