Federal law makes it illegal for you to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it, and you could be jailed and fined. This offense is best explained when it is broken down into three parts: possession, intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute. Under the law, all three components of the offense need to be committed in order to be charged with possessing with intent to distribute. These laws are no longer just federal laws, as many states have also adopted this definition. The legal process for drug charges can be complex, and if you are facing criminal charges, you may be able to get the help of a drug possession attorney.
possession of drugs
Possession of controlled substances is illegal in most states and the federal government. The word “in possession” doesn’t just mean in one’s hands, bag or pocket, it can also mean that a controlled substance is within someone’s control. This means that someone could be charged with possession of a controlled substance if the drugs were in their house or in their car.
In order to be charged with possession of a controlled substance, the person needs to know that the drug was there. The person must know that they acquired or received the drug, or knew they had it in their home, car, or pocket and chose not to throw it away. In many cases, the courts go a step further, and someone could be charged with possession of a controlled substance even though they should have known the drugs were there. Because of the broad scope, it is easier for the prosecution to convict property charges. Throughout the legal process, you may benefit from a trusted drug possession attorney in Bloomington IL.
In order for someone to be convicted of distributing a controlled substance, a court needs to prove exactly what the person planned to do with the drugs. Because courts are not mind readers, they need to be able to signal intent based on the circumstances around them. For example, if a person is in possession of large quantities of drugs that are too large for personal use, it can be assumed that they are going to sell them. Another way to infer what someone intends to do with these drugs is if they have packaging materials, large amounts of cash of little value, drug paraphernalia, or customer communications.
holding intent to distribute
Someone cannot be charged with intent to distribute unless there is also proof that they possessed and had the intent to distribute. For example, if someone is in possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, they may not be charged with intent to distribute or, conversely, if it is clear that someone intends to sell a large amount of the drug, however, the drug is not yet in their possession and they cannot be in possession with intent to distribute. However, penalties vary across many states.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti Attorneys at Law for their insights on criminal defense and drug possession.
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