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Wilmington Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

Possession of drugs and controlled substances in Delaware, even small quantities intended for personal use, are criminalized with harsh penalties in store if you are convicted of a crime. The presence of any number of “aggravating factors” in your case can raise the stakes even higher. Take any drug possession arrest seriously, and contact a skilled and knowledgeable Wilmington drug possession defense lawyer to advise you on your options and fight to get you the best result.

I am attorney Michael Modica. I am a former criminal prosecutor for the state of Delaware, and I have decades of experience representing and defending individuals charged with drug possession offenses in Wilmington and New Castle County, including students at the University of Delaware in Newark. Let me help you achieve a positive outcome after your arrest for possession.

Different types of drug possession offenses in Delaware

  • Possession
  • Possession with intent to deliver and drug dealing
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Among possession offenses, Delaware law distinguishes between possession, aggravated possession and possession with intent to deliver (drug dealing). Within each category, penalties for conviction grow larger depending upon the quantity of drug involved, broken out into five quantity tiers. For instance, the maximum penalty of six months in jail can be imposed for misdemeanor possession of the following quantities of drugs:

  • less than 5g cocaine or meth
  • less than 2.5g MDMA or LSD
  • less than 1g heroin

This is assuming there is no aggravating factor present, and no prior drug conviction within the previous five years. Where an aggravating factor is present, the six-month penalty described above can be increased up to one year in jail. Aggravating factors include the following:

  • Possession within 1000 feet of a school zone
  • Possession within 300 feet of a protected park or recreation area
  • Possession within 300 feet of a church or other house of worship
  • Possession in a vehicle
  • Possession by an adult involving a juvenile under 18
  • Resisting arrest

Aggravated Possession is a class B felony. It can be charged in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Possession of drugs in a tier 4 or 5 quantity
  • Possession of a tier 3 quantity of drugs with the presence of an aggravating factor
  • Possession of a tier 2 quantity of drugs with the presence of two aggravating factors

Diversion (First Offense Election)

Diversion, also known as First Offense Election, is a way to avoid a conviction. Diversion offers a first-time offender subject to a felony charge the opportunity to enter into treatment rather than face a criminal sentence. After completing treatment and a required period of probation (minimum 18 months), your case is dismissed, so you will not wind up with a conviction on your record. The probation period also involves a six month driver’s license revocation and community service requirement.

Diversion can be an excellent outcome for those who qualify. However, diversion does require the entry of a guilty plea, so it is not something that should be entered into lightly, and not without first consulting with your attorney. If you fail to complete the terms of the diversion program, you can be convicted and sentenced according to your guilty plea. For some people, it may be better to fight the charges. Your lawyer should be able to evaluate your case and advise you on your options.

Call Michael W. Modica in Wilmington after a New Castle County Drug Possession Arrest

Were you or your child arrested and charged with a drug possession offense in Wilmington, Newark or elsewhere in New Castle County? Call me right away at 302-600-1262, and I will provide you with a free consultation regarding your case. The period immediately following a drug arrest can be the most critical moments for your defense, so don’t hesitate to call a Wilmington drug possession defense lawyer at once. I am here to help you.

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