Distribution of a controlled substance is charged when there is evidence that a person actually delivered, sold or in any way engaged in some sort of transaction where a controlled substance was left for or passed along to another. There does not have to be a purchase or a transaction of value although many times this is what the police claim they saw, commonly referred to in police reports as a “hand to hand” transaction. Where drugs are exchanged for currency with the exchange observed by police giving them probable cause to stop a person and investigate further.
Penalties for distribution depend on whether the case remains in district court where the maximum penalty for a charge is 2½ years or whether the case is indicted and handled in superior court where penalties can range up to 10 years for distribution. Whether someone has a prior record and is charged as a subsequent offender will trigger a mandatory minimum sentence as well. The registry of motor vehicles will suspend a person’s driver’s license convicted of distribution between 3 to 5 years, a hardship license is usually available after serving half of the suspension.
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