It is unlawful for a person to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, a controlled substance. There are factors that would be looked at via juror instructions and case law that would allow a person to make an analysis as to whether or not somebody possessed with intent to sell or whether or not somebody possessed for personal or recreational use.
In these cases, the Government must prove that the drug was a controlled substance as defined by § 893.03 of the Florida Statutes and that the defendant had knowledge of the substance. A Ft. Lauderdale possession with intent to distribute lawyer can help you collect evidence to present during your trial. Our experienced drug attorneys have the local knowledge and understanding necessary to help you build a strong defense.
Determining Intent to Sell
Money plays a big role in determining whether or not there is a possession case or a possession with intent to sell or distribute case. Our Ft Lauderdale lawyers have seen drug possession charges turn into intent to distribute cases due to the presence of large amounts of money or cash on somebody’s person, in or around the vehicle, their home, or another location. For example, one giant Ziploc baggie, smaller bags, packages, or containers indicating an intent to parcel the drugs out in smaller amounts would be indicative of somebody that had the intent to sell or distribute.
Other factors that might point to the intent to sell drugs would include the presence of any type of paraphernalia such as grinders, rolling papers, scales, testing kits, balances, or mixing devices as well as any firearms or weapons. If a person admits that they possessed a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute, that would be pretty strong evidence if those statements were upheld in court.
Role of the Prosecution in Drug Possession with the Intent to Sell Cases
Prosecutors certainly are more vigorously prosecuting cases where they feel the individual is involved in the economics of the drug trade versus an individual that has a substance abuse problem or just in possession of a small amount for personal or recreational use. The Prosecutor will try to prove that the individual possessed a controlled substance with the intent to sell that particular substance. In these cases, the prosecutor must prove that the drug was, in fact, a controlled substance as defined by § 893.03. Proving controlled substances usually includes calling a toxicologist from the Broward Juror’s Office Crime Lab. The toxicologist would testify that the drugs were tested and they are, in fact, a controlled substance as defined in §893. Then the Prosecutor would also have to prove that the defendant had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance itself. A lawyer in Ft Lauderdale could help someone facing drug possession with the intent to distribute charges by building a defense against the prosecution’s case.
Penalties for Intent to Distribute Drug Charges
The penalties that someone may face for any drug charges depends on the amount and type of controlled substance involved in someone’s case. Typically, these charges are either a second or third-degree felony. For instance, if someone have enough cannabis to constitute intent to sell charges, they may be facing a third-degree felony as marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance. Alternatively, if someone is accused of trying to distribute cocaine they could be charged with a second-degree felony as this drug is a Schedule 2 substance. Felonies typically result in prison sentences that range from five to 15 years of imprisonment as well as significant fines. Felonies convictions on a criminal record can also impact someone’s ability to maintain gainful employment, find housing, and exercise certain rights liking voting and owning a firearm. Because the penalties are so steep for charges involving drug possession with the intent to distribute, anyone who has been accused of this crime should contact a Ft. Lauderdale attorney as soon as possible.
Speak with a Ft Lauderdale Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Attorney
Our Ft. Lauderdale possession with intent to distribute lawyers could provide necessary legal advocacy when dealing with these serious charges. Any type of offense that involves drug have a multitude of ramifications. Not only as they relate to potential incarceration and sanctions from the court, but the effects a charge of intent can have on an individual’s record, livelihood, job, civil rights, and reputation. For more information about how an attorney could help you, call today.