How can the police prove that you had an intent to distribute?

| May 20, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Getting arrested for the possession of a drug that you shouldn’t have according to controlled substances laws can lead to substantial legal issues. For some unfortunate individuals, the charges they face will involve the intent to distribute or sell the drugs, rather than just the possession of the drugs. 

Possession with intent carries substantially higher penalties than simple possession. Under state law, it can carry up to 10 years in jail. If you find yourself facing allegations of possession with intent, it’s important to understand what can lead to such charges.

Police may allege intent if they tried to catch you selling

Many times, it seems like police officers and even prosecutors try to make the charges fit the investigation. If officers believe for one reason or another that you have some kind of involvement in the sale or distribution of controlled substances, they may have stopped you or entered your home with a warrant in the hopes of finding evidence of illegal trafficking. 

When they couldn’t find concrete evidence of sales, they may choose to charge you with intent to distribute, particularly if they can find evidence that might support those claims.

The quantity of drugs involved and other items around influence the charges

Many times, if the evidence collected at the time of the arrest indicates that the person had more of a substance in their possession then officers believe would be for personal use, the weight of the drugs can be adequate evidence to charge someone with possession with intent. The same is true of smaller weights of drugs if officers find them already packaged in individual containers as though for resale.

Additionally, certain items that you may have around your house, including baggies, disposable straws and scales that weigh by the gram could all help the state develop their allegation that the intention was to sell and profit from the drugs, rather than simply to have enough for personal use.