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Drug Possession vs. Intent to Distribute

Posted on : November 4, 2015

If you are arrested with drugs, you could face several different types of charges. Chief among them is drug possession and intent to distribute. What is the difference between the two, and what should you do if you or a loved one are charged with a drug crime?

Drug Possession

When law enforcement discovers drugs either on a person or within their control, they generally make an arrest for possession. For example, drugs can be in a person’s pocket, backpack, or somewhere they have control over, such as their apartment, even if they weren’t in the apartment at the time the drugs were found. Depending on the amount of drugs that were found, the defendant could be charged with just the possession of drugs or possession with the intent to distribute.

Intent to Distribute

Legally proving intent can be difficult for a prosecutor. However, the court will typically look at other evidence to determine if the defendant may have had plans to distribute the drugs in his possession. The amount of drugs found is important. If law enforcement officers found a large amount of drugs in the defendant’s possession, they could easily argue that they had no plans to use or consume such a large amount themselves and must have had the intent to distribute the drugs.

Other evidence could include the possession of certain paraphernalia used for distribution, such as a scale or baggies. The penalties for intent to distribute are much more severe in Sacramento than those for simple possession, and typically, defendants who are charged with both possession and intent to distribute face high fines and jail time.

When to Contact an Attorney

Being arrested for a drug crime of any kind can leave you reeling and wondering who might be able to help you or what you should do next. Your case might seem open-and-shut, especially if the drugs were found on your person. However, this is not necessarily true, and a seasoned criminal defense lawyer can help you zealously fight for your rights and your freedoms after being charged with a drug crime.

Contact the Law Office of Jennifer Mouzis today to learn more about your legal options after being charged with possession or intent to distribute. Attorney Mouzis will thoroughly evaluate your case to determine what the best possible defense strategy will be, and she will execute that strategy to the best of her ability. Call now for a consultation at (916) 822-8702.

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