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Where is the line between possession and intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Drug possession is a serious charge, as is the intent to distribute drugs. Possessing or intending to distribute drugs violates state and federal laws.

There is a fine line between possessing drugs and intending to distribute them. In fact, many people accused of possession will also face accusations of intending to distribute those drugs, even if that is not the truth.

What is a possession charge?

With a possession charge, you’re simply being accused of having in your possession a drug that you should not have. To prosecute the case successfully, the prosecution has to show that you knew that the drug was a controlled substance and that you knew you had possession of the drug.

Possession with the intent to distribute is a different charge and is more serious. It tends to have harsher penalties since the court’s aim is to stop any kind of drug trafficking or dealing. Proving possession with the intent to distribute requires prosecutors to show that there was evidence such as being in possession of a large amount of a substance, the tools needed to measure and bag the drugs or witness accounts of sales.

What if you had a great quantity of a drug but no intent to distribute it?

It may happen that you were just over the limit for a possession with the intent to distribute charge. It may also be that you’re accused of having all the tools needed to sell, even if you don’t have a large enough quantity of the substance to justify the charge. Regardless, if the prosecution believes that it has a case where it can show that you did intend to distribute drugs, you will need to defend yourself against those charges.

How can you defend against drug charges?

You may be able to do that by showing that you were heading home or that you had no plans to meet anyone. There are also other defenses that may help you, such as showing that a traffic stop wasn’t legal or that the search of your vehicle or home was without reasonable cause. Then, you can take steps to defend yourself and protect your freedoms.

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