Written by Canterbury Law Group

Possession with Intent To Sell Drugs: What To Do?

Possession with Intent To Sell Drugs: What To Do?

Federal law states possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute is broken into two parts:

  1. The possession of drugs.
  2. The intent to distribute them.

Both aspects have to be shown to have happened at the same time. read on to learn more.


Possession means drugs are in your control not just on your person. for example, they may be discovered in your car or home. You generally need to know the drugs are there to prove possession. If you did not know the drug was there, you will have a strong defense. Many areas will charge individuals with possession if “they should have known” or should have been aware the substance was a controlled substance. With standards this open, it is more simple for the prosecution.

Intent To Distribute

It has to be proven by the Government what the intention was of the person who had possession of the drugs. Surrounding circumstances become key to proving the intention. The intention to distribute is assumed if the person has more than would be acceptable for personal use. Other signs of the intent to distribute may be, large amounts of cash, customer communications and packing materials.

The Timing

A crime can’t occur unless possession of the drugs occurs at the same time as the intent to distribute them. When someone wants to sell 10 kilograms of heroin but hasn’t received the shipment yet, prosecutors can’t charge him or her with the offense of possession as they never had possession of the drugs. But, related crimes of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and attempt to possess with intent to distribute may have been committed and those charges may be stick.

Penalties For The Offense

Federal law says the penalty for possession with the intent to distribute is dependent on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  The length of imprisonment and the amount of monetary fines depends on the nature of the controlled substance and whether the defendant has a criminal background. States laws vary a great deal so need to be checked on a state by state basis.

Source: www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-charges/possession-with-the-intent-to-distribute.html

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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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