What is the difference between possession and possession with intent to distribute?

Possession with intent to distribute is a criminal charge involving a defendant found
in possession of an amount of a particular controlled or illicit substance greater than
the amount required for a charge of simple drug possession. Even if the amount
discovered was intended for personal use, the law will assume intention to sell
or distribute if enough of the substance is present. Prosecutors do not have to
prove intent to sell the drug as long as certain other burdens of evidence are met,
based on the quantity of the substance confiscated. Prosecutors will also take into
consideration the circumstances under which the property was seized, as well as the
accompanying paraphernalia found at the scene.

If two or more people are implicated in a possession with intent to distribute
situation, prosecutors will often also include a charge of drug conspiracy with the
possession charge. In certain circumstances, those found in possession of very large
amounts of a controlled substance may face accusations of drug trafficking.

Possession with intent to distribute is a felony offense, carrying a mandatory
minimum federal penalty of 5 years in prison, and a Florida state minimum penalty
of 3 years in prison.

Common drugs involved in intent to distribute charges in Florida include marijuana,
ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. Possession of marijuana in an
amount greater than 20 grams, for example, would likely result in a charge of
possession with intent to distribute.

Posted in: Drug Crimes