Drug Possession for Sale
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Under federal law, the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, or sell, the
substance is illegal. To show that a defendant is guilty of drug possession with the intent to distribute, a
prosecutor must prove the offender guilty of possession, intent to distribute, and possession with the
intent to distribute.
Drug possession is not only defined as the act of holding illegal drugs on your person, such as in your
hands. Rather, it can also mean that the controlled substance is within that person’s control. It also has to
be proven that the defendant was knowledgeable of possession illegal drugs, or having them in their
Intent to Distribute
The government must prove what the person possessing the drugs was planning, or intending, to do with
the drugs. This has to be proven with surrounding circumstances, such as the defendant was holding an
amount too large to be for considered for personal use. Other indications of the intent to sell could be the
simultaneous possession of drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, or large amounts of money.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
The crime of possession with the intent to distribute has not occurred unless both the possession and the
intent to distribute elements have occurred at the same time.
State and Federal Penalties
The fines and length of imprisonment vary widely depending upon which controlled substance was
involved and whether the person convicted has a prior history of crime.