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At the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm, our team of Rhode Island Drug Lawyers have 25 years of experienced representing individuals charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance throughout the State of Rhode Island.  Our effective and proven criminal defense strategies have helped many of our clients stay out of jail, avoid a felony convictions, and sometimes leave the criminal justice system with no criminal record at all.

Rhode Island Possession with Intent Lawyers
Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm 
Available 24/7 at 401-228-8271

We have experience representing clients facing a wide variety of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance charges including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, fentanyl, tetrahydrocannabinol, xanax, adderall, oxycontin, oxycodone, and dozens of other controlled substances.  Our drug defense strategies have a proven track record of success.  Let us put them to work for you.

Should I hire a Rhode Island Possession with Intent Attorney?

Let's face it, the court system can be complicated and intimidating, and attempting to navigate it alone or with low quality or budget representation is a mistake. Those charged with drug crimes face significant penalties in the short and medium term, and potentially irreparable and unknowable harm in the future with a drug conviction on their record.  Being saddled with a felony conviction can make it more difficult to get a job, get into school, secure a loan, purchase a firearm, or travel.  Don't leave those things to chance, make the right choice and hire a dedicated and experienced R.I. drug attorney to fight for your freedom and your livelihood.

How can the drug lawyers at the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm help me fight my drug possession charge?

If you read any of our FAQs below you know that drug cases such as possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing, and delivery are complex cases that can come with severe and life altering punishment. Don't leave such an important process to chance, call our firm and put our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys to work on fighting your case and preserving your freedom.

Frequently Asked R.I. Possession with Intent to Deliver Questions:


What is possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in R.I.?

Unlike “simple” possession of a controlled substance which charges a defendant with possessing illegal drugs for his or her own personal use, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance is different.  Possession with intent to deliver alleges not only that that a defendant possesses a controlled substance, but that they are intending to sell or transfer it to one or more different people.  Put another way: it charges someone with having drugs and intending to deal them in some way.  Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance is a very serious charge with very serious potential penalties, so having a knowledgeable attorney who understands the legal system is extremely important.

What is simple drug possession?

“Simple possession” essentially that the drugs were in possession for personal use.  The term “simple” possession is used to separate possession for personal use from drug dealing offenses, such as possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance, or manufacturing a controlled substance.  Don't let the term “simple” fool you; these cases can be anything but simple to defend and can come with serious consequences even if the substance was for your own use.

What is considered possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance?

Police and prosecutors make the distinction between simple possession and possession with intent to deliver based on a combination of a lot of factors. For example, the quantity: is the defendant in possession of such a large amount or such a various amount of controlled substances that it simply could not be for personal use.  Packaging: was the controlled substance portioned out into several packages for sale to someone else?  Possession of drug dealing paraphernalia.  While it may not be illegal to possess a digital scale, or a cutting agent, multiple cell phones, or ledgers and booklets, the presence of such items can arise suspicion that the controlled substance was meant for delivery or sale.  Another major factor is police intelligence: law enforcement may often use surveillance techniques, controlled buys with undercover officers, or the use of a “confidential informant” to gather information on a suspect they believe to be selling or delivering drugs.  No one factor is determinative, but having an attorney in your corner who understands these factors and how to fight them is absolutely imperative.

What is considered “personal use” and who makes that determination?

The question of whether or not a controlled substance is meant for personal use or whether it is meant to be sold or distributed to others is a question of fact, and is largely answered by the arresting police. The answer depends largely on the type of controlled substance; the quantity; how it is packaged; and the circumstances surrounding the arrest.  The police have a difficult job and as hard as they may try, they don't always get it right.  If you have been overcharged or wrongfully or illegally charged, you need a lawyer in your corner to help you fight for your rights and your freedom. 

Is there a minimum quantity required to be charged with possession with intent to deliver?

While quantity is certain a factor, there is no minimum amount required to be charged with possession with intent to deliver. If the state can make its case based on various other factors, they need not prove a minimum amount.

What is delivery of a controlled substance?

Delivery of a controlled substance is a little bit more straightforward than possession with intent to deliver. While possession with intent to deliver charges the possession itself, delivery charges the transaction, which is to say transfer the controlled substance to another party.  This can be done in a variety of ways, the most common are what are called “hand to hand” transactions, where one party gives or sells the controlled substance directly to another party.  While the charge is a bit different, the potentially penalties are the same as possession with intent to deliver and can be very severe.

What is manufacturing a controlled substance?

Manufacturing a controlled substance is charged under the same section of the law as delivery and possession with intent to deliver, but actually charges the defendant with making or creating a controlled substance. This charge is commonly seen with methamphetamine productions (or “labs”) as well as marijuana grow and processing operations.  For instance, if an individual is alleged to be growing marijuana illegally or is using marijuana to make “dabs” or “shatter” then he or she can be charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.  This area of the law can be murky, particularly with respect to marijuana cultivation, and if you or a loved one has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, having a smart attorney handling the case is absolutely essential.

What are the most common possession with intent to deliver charges in Rhode Island?

Any controlled substance can lead to a charge of possession with intent to deliver, although some are more common than others. Some of the more frequently charged controlled substances include marijuana, crack and powder cocaine, heroin, and pharmaceuticals such as Xanax, valium, Vicodin, and fentanyl.

Can Possession with intent to deliver charge be dropped?

Absolutely, but it takes work.  Oftentimes the police or the prosecution may overcharge a case that maybe they are not able to prove or have some issues with the evidence against a defendant.  As discussed early, possession with intent to deliver is based on a variety of factors and if a some of the factors are not present or are not as strong as the police and prosecution had believed at the outset of the case, the charge may be reduced or dropped.  But the police and the State have a job to do and they believe they are doing it correctly, and they will not be willing to drop or reduce the charges without a fight.  This is exactly why you need a firm that has earned a reputation for standing up for and fighting for their clients rights and lives.

How do you fight possession with intent to deliver charges?

There are many different ways for a defendant to affectively and aggressively defend his or her possession with intent to deliver charge, and the tactics will vary based on the circumstances of each case.  Some cases involve some illegal action or inaction on the part of law enforcement that requires that some or all evidence be suppressed or thrown out.  Other cases may have a valid legal defense that isn't necessarily obvious from the police reports.  Many cases simply involve attacking the credibility and truthfulness of the witnesses involved.  Most likely though, each case will involve a combination of some or all of these factors.  If you or a loved one has been charged with possession with intent to deliver, call us today and we can get started on tailoring a defense specifically to win YOUR case.

Can a defendant get bail on a possession with intent to deliver charge?

Unlike most criminal offenses in Rhode Island, a defendant charged with possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing, or delivery of a controlled substance is not legally entitled to bail, and in fact may be held without bail pending a bail hearing.  Rhode Island law puts these drug offenses in the same category as capital offenses that carry up to life in prison, such as murder, rape, and robbery, and as such a defendant is not necessarily given bail.  If a defendant is charged with one of these drug offenses and is held without bail, he or she is entitled to a Bail Hearing within ten days, at which time a judge may determine whether or not the defendant can be given bail and released.  A defendant able to get bail is much more likely to achieve a better result than a defendant who is held without bail so the Bail Hearing is a critical stage of the proceeding.  Given the importance of the Bail Hearing in the life of a case, it is imperative to have an aggressive and persuasive attorney to fight on behalf of you or your loved one.

What happens at a Possession with Intent Bail Hearing?

If a defendant is held without bail at his or her initial appearance, the court will schedule a bail hearing to take place within ten days.  At that hearing, the State must establish that a nonbailable drug offense was committed and that the defendant committed it.  If the State is successful in doing so, the Judge may still use his or her discretion to set bail based on a number of bail factors.  These include the strength of the state's case and likelihood of success at trial; the defendant's ties to the community, including any family, job, or schooling in Rhode Island; the defendant's criminal history or lack thereof; the defendant's risk of fleeing the jurisdiction if granted bail; and the risk to the community.  With the Bail Hearing being such a critical stage in the criminal process, it is incredibly important to have a skilled attorney in your corner.

What are the potential penalties for possession with intent to deliver?

The penalties and sentences for possession with intent to deliver, delivery, and manufacturing of controlled substances is spelled out in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of the Rhode Island General Laws, section 21-28-4.01.  The UCSA is very complicated and the penalties can vary depending on the substance or substances charged, the category of the defendant, and whether or not there are any aggravating circumstances..  While the penalties can vary based on these factors, they are all harsh.  For the vast majority of offenses the maximum sentence carries up to thirty years in prison, with some offenses being punishable by up to life in prison.  Convictions can also come with significant fines, ranging from $10,000 to up to $1,000,000.  With such a complex set of laws and such high stakes, you or your loved one cannot afford to have anything but top quality representation.

What are the mandatory minimum sentences for possession with intent to deliver?

Unlike the Federal system which adheres to sentencing minimum and maximum guidelines, the State of Rhode Island does not have sentencing minimums.  The sentencing maximums can range from 30 to 50 years, or even life in prison depending on the quantity and specific drug.  While there may not be sentencing minimums, make no mistake about it: the State and the Prosecution takes these cases seriously and you should too, and that starts with hiring the right attorney to fight your case.

What are the sentencing factors for possession with intent to deliver?

Much like these cases themselves, sentencing is different in every case and the Court considers a variety of factors when arriving at an appropriate sentence.  Some of these factors include the severity of the offense, the defendant's criminal history or lack thereof, the defendant's likelihood of reoffending.  As critical as the defense phase of a case can be, oftentimes the sentencing phase is just as critical and you need an experienced and capable attorney to secure the best result possible.

Rhode Island Drug Possession Defense Attorney: What Can We Do For You?

If you have been arrested and charged in Rhode Island with simple possession of a controlled substance, it is important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible.  Our experienced drug possession defense attorneys will meet with you and confidentially discuss the facts of your case, any legal or constitutional defenses you may have, and your best strategy moving forward.  We have handled 1,000's of drug possession cases and can put our experience and knowledge to work for you right away.

Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.