There are many residents of Virginia who have been charged with crimes involving drugs. Drug charges can bring serious consequences to those who are convicted. A particular drug crime that is commonly mentioned is possession with the intent to distribute. Many may wonder what this charge means.
There are three elements of the crime of possession with intent to distribute that must be present for the person to be charged. Possession means that the controlled substances are within the person's control, though they do not necessarily have to be on the person. The illegal substances can be in his or her car, home or business. In most cases, the person under suspicion knows that the drugs are present.
The second essential element is the intent to distribute. In basic terms, this means that the person in question was planning to sell the illegal substances. This is generally inferred when the quantity of drugs is greater than what a person would use for his or her personal consumption. Drug paraphernalia, which may include packaging materials, along with significant amounts of currency and documented customer communication can also lead prosecutors to infer the intent to distribute. Finally, both possession and the intent to distribute must have occurred generally at the same time.
Most Virginia residents charged with drug charges choose to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss their cases. A local criminal defense lawyer will know the best way to navigate the local court systems, prosecutors and judges. Most importantly, attorneys can help their clients tell their side of the story, negotiate with the prosecution and make sure their rights are being protected.
Source: FindLaw, "Possession with the Intent to Distribute", Accessed on Nov. 16, 2016