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What is meant by possession with intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | Drug Crimes

Several factors contribute to how significant criminal charges might become for drug possession in Florida. Possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use is one thing, and possession with the intent to distribute is entirely different. “Intent to distribute” reflects a legal description for drug dealing.

Possession and intent to distribute are two distinct elements. As most would likely assume, possession can refer to physically holding the drugs. A significant volume of drugs in one’s pockets or the trunk of a car would generally indicate possession. A person could also possess the drugs if they were under his or her control, such as keeping the drugs in a storage unit or at a vacation home. If the person legitimately did not know that drugs were present in a car or residence, it might be a credible defense to a possession charge.

Intent to distribute refers to plans to sell the drugs. Possessing a significant amount might lead to this charge. A steroid user with 50 bottles of injectable testosterone and 1,000 pill-form steroids might have significant difficulty claiming that the amount is for personal use, for example. The presence of “baggies” and other items associated with drug sales could suggest the intent to distribute.

Individuals should be aware that even if a person does not possess any drugs, the individual could face conspiracy charges. Such might be the case when someone intends to procure drugs to distribute.

A defense attorney may explore different ways to challenge drug charges. Noting that the person did not possess the drugs and the lack of evidence toward intent to distribute are examples. An attorney might also look at the validity of a warrant or probable cause to seek a dismissal.