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Facing a criminal charge can be an overwhelming and distressing experience, especially when the charge is as serious as possession with intent to supply. If you or someone you know has found themselves in this predicament for the first time, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the legal implications involved. In this article, we delve into the offence of possession with intent to supply under English law, providing insights into its definition, including illustrative examples, outlining the potential sentencing outcomes, and discussing the potential of imprisonment for first time offenders.
Possession with intent to supply is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. It is considered to be a very serious offence, and can result in a significant prison sentence. One reason for this is because the impact that drugs have on the general population as well as on the individuals involved in their use can be devastating.
To commit the offence of possession with intent to supply, a person must:
“Supply” is defined as the act of giving, selling, or otherwise providing a controlled drug to another person. It does not matter if the supply is for profit or not. This means that simply sharing drugs at a party or other event is sufficient to constitute the offence of ‘supplying’.
The prosecution does not need to prove that the person actually supplied the drug to another person, only that they intended to do so. This can be proved using circumstantial evidence, such as the amount of drugs found in the person’s possession, the way the drugs were packaged, and any other evidence that suggests that the drugs were intended for supply.
Relevant evidence may include:
Here are some examples of this offence:
If you are suspected of possession with intent to supply in the UK, it is highly likely that the police and other law enforcement specialist teams or agencies (such as drugs teams) will get involved. Here is an outline of what is likely to happen:
The sentence for possession with intent to supply in the UK depends on the class of drug involved and the quantity of the drug. The maximum sentence is 7 years in prison for a Class A drug, 5 years in prison for a Class B drug, and 2 years in prison for a Class C drug.
The actual sentence that is imposed will depend on a number of factors, including the offender’s previous criminal record, the role they played in the supply of drugs, and the impact of the drugs on their community.
For example, a first-time offender who is caught in possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal supply may be given a community order or a suspended sentence. However, a repeat offender who is caught in possession of a large quantity of drugs for commercial supply is likely to be sentenced to prison.
In addition to a prison sentence, offenders may also be fined and/or ordered to forfeit any assets that they have gained from their drug dealing activities.
If you are facing charges of possession with intent to supply, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified criminal defence lawyer. A lawyer can help you to understand your charges and your rights, and can represent you in court.
The likelihood of a first-time offender going to prison for being found guilty of possession with intent to supply in the UK depends on a number of factors, including:
In general, first-time offenders are less likely to be sentenced to prison than repeat offenders. However, possession with intent to supply is a serious offence, and even first-time offenders can be sentenced to prison, especially if the circumstances of the offence are serious.
According to a 2021 report by the Ministry of Justice, only 0.2% of first-time offenders convicted of possession with intent to supply were sentenced to immediate imprisonment. However, this figure is likely to be higher for more serious cases, such as cases involving large quantities of drugs or Class A drugs.
If you or someone you know is facing charges for making indecent images, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people with no prior legal experience find themselves in this situation, and there is help available. Get in touch with the team at Stuart Miller Solicitors to learn more about your options and start compiling your defence today.
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