Law enforcement officers take drug crimes seriously. If you come under suspicion of being involved in drug-related activity, you could face a predicament that could lead to criminal charges, court appearances and possible punishments if convicted. Because you undoubtedly want to avoid a conviction for such allegations, you may need to better understand the charges brought against you.
When it comes to drug possession with intent to distribute, many factors must present themselves in order for such a charge to prove applicable. Possession and intent are two different factors, and if officials add the intent to distribute to a possession charge, you could run the risk of facing more severe consequences in the event of a conviction than you could for a simple possession charge.
Proof of possession and intent to distribute
In order for allegations of possession with intent to distribute to apply, evidence must exist that you both knowingly possessed a controlled or illicit substance and also had the intention of selling or otherwise distributing the substance. When it comes to possession, authorities must prove that you knowingly had possession and control of the drugs. This means that you either obtained the drugs yourself or knew where the drugs were located but did not take steps to remove them.
When it comes to intent to distribute, evidence must exist that you intended to distribute the substance. Of course, you could easily deny that you had such an intention. Generally, the type of evidence associated with proving intent relates to the amount of drug in a person's possession. If authorities located an amount that would appear too much for only personal use or if paraphernalia such as scales and packaging were also located, you could face charges for intent.
Even if prosecutors cannot prove both elements, but evidence of one crime allegedly exists, you could still face charges for either. If authorities locate a substance in your possession, you may face drug possession charges. If they believe you intended to distribute drugs, even if you do not yet have drugs in your possession, you could still face allegations of intent to distribute.
Defending against charges
The type of defense strategies you wish to utilize may depend on the specific drug charges you face. Finding out more information on the allegations brought against you may help you better create and present your criminal defense.