So basically in constitutional criminal procedure II today we were learning about double jeopardy and drug distribution charges and apparently there was a case in fucking 1932 THAT BASICALLY TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO AVOID BEING CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF DRUG DISTRIBUTION.
Here’s the thing:
apparently, there are things called continuous crimes. Continuous crimes are crimes that have a start, but not a definite stopping point. The prime example is something like cohabitation with multiple wives, where it’s like “OK, where does this end and the other begin.” So the thing is, you can’t actually be charged twice for the same crime. It’s double jeopardy (there are actually loads more rules but that’s not important to this explanation).
This defendant was like “dude, I sold CONTINUOUSLY to the SAME CLIENTS over the course of two days. So it’s only one crime.”
And the Court was actually like “Well, no, because selling drugs isn’t continuous. There’s a definite start AND end, because once you get the money the deal is done.”
SO HERE’S THE INTERESTING THING.
According to my professor (who is basically the queen bitch of public defenders—she represented the DC sniper) THE WAY YOU CALCULATE IS WHEN THE MONEY CHANGES HANDS.
THIS MEANS that if you are dealing, and you trust somebody, right? Like one of your regulars or whatever, and you agree to front them some of your product for say, like three days (as in, you give them some of your product three times, over the course of three days) and they finally give you the money on the last day, THAT ONLY COUNTS AS ONE COUNT OF DRUG DISTRIBUTION.
This means that the method of always demanding instant payment is actually a questionable legal decision. Sure, you get your cash for sure and it means more respect on the street, but it also means that you get charged with more and more counts of the same crime—which means harsher sentencing.
Moral of the story: a generous dealer serves less time