Whether it is during a search subsequent a traffic stop, during the search of a residence or a search of one’s person, if a person is found in possession of an illegal substance, this could lead to a drug charge. Depending on the circumstances and the details of the alleged crime, a defendant could face serious penalties. This is especially true if there is indication that a suspect might be in possession of the controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
What is possession with the intent to distribute? This drug crime can be broken down into three parts. First, there is possession. This means that a controlled substance is on one’s person or is within the person’s control. However, one must have knowledge that the drugs are present.
The second part of the charge is intent to distribute. Because one cannot get in the head of another person in order to determine their intent, the intent to distribute is often assumed when a suspect is found in possession of an amount that is far too large for personal use. The final part is possession with intent to distribute. This cannot exist unless both possession and the intent to distribute elements have occurred.
When a person is charged with possession with the intent to distribute, this could result with serious penalties such as imprisonment and fines. Because of the harsh penalties involved, it is vital to explore one’s defense options. This could help one reduce and even dismiss the charges against them.