In Florida, drug charges carry serious penalties. The Florida Statutes restrict the sale, manufacture and possession of controlled substances. If accused with intent to sell, you could face a second or third-degree felony charge.
What you may not realize is that the police do not have to catch you in the act of selling drugs to charge you with possession with intent to sell.
What is simple possession?
If officers find controlled substances following a search, they may charge you with possession. Possession refers to keeping drugs on your person, in your vehicle or in a place you control. The officer does not have to find drugs on your body but can find them in a bag that you own or a suitcase.
Sometimes, people face possession charges for drugs that do not belong to them. For instance, say an officer pulls you over and a friend hides his or her drugs in your vehicle; you may have to prove you unknowingly possessed the drugs.
When does possession become intent to sell?
Possession is only the first half of the charge. Next, the officer must show evidence that you had the intent to sell. The courts may judge intent to sell based on various factors, including:
- The number of drugs in your possession
- The type of drug in your possession
- The presence of baggies and scales for sales purposes
Officers may also seek witness testimonies to attempt to prove intent to sell. Likewise, you can utilize witnesses to vouch for your character.