Possession with intent to distribute is a much more serious crime than possession alone. Prosecutors rely heavily on circumstantial evidence to convict individuals of this crime. But, often juries don’t consider that the evidence may not necessarily prove intent, only indicates it. Here’s what you need to know about how prosecutors treat the crime of possession with intent to distribute.
Understand What Prosecutors Need to Prove
In order to obtain a guilty verdict from a judge and/or jury, a prosecutor needs to prove several elements. First, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had knowledge of the crime and the intent to distribute. Second, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had constructive or actual possession of the substance. Third, they must prove that the substance is indeed a controlled or illegal substance. Failure to prove through evidence any one of these elements and the case against the defendant becomes weak and unsubstantial.
Circumstantial Evidence in Possession with Intent to Distribute Cases
Often, the evidence that a person in possession of a controlled substance intends to distribute or sell the substance is circumstantial. For example, police may arrest a person with several pounds of methamphetamine individually divided into separate baggies. The person may also be found in possession of scales and other tools commonly used for distribution of methamphetamine.
Although situations like these are often considered “cut and dry” cases, this evidence is actually only circumstantial. Possessing methamphetamine in baggies or having scales doesn’t prove that the defendant intended to distribute the drugs. The only actual proof that a defendant means to sell the drugs in their possession is an actual confession. Therefore, a skilled criminal defense attorney can argue that the defendant was only in possession of drugs but had no intent to distribute them. This argument could result in a reduction of charges.
Contact Riverside Criminal Defense Today
At Riverside Criminal Defense, we take all criminal charges seriously and are committed to providing our clients with zealous legal advocacy throughout each step of their case. Possession with intent to distribute charges can be life changing and it’s important you have someone in your corner fighting for you. Call our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case in detail at 951-384-7375. We are available to help you.