What’s the Difference Between Possession and Intent to Distribute?

The possession of drugs or a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or sell is a felony offense under most state laws, including Nebraska. Nebraska drug laws are quite strict, and the federal laws are even more stringent due to the drug crisis that we are experiencing. The charges for possession and possession with intent to distribute, however, are treated quite differently under the law and even by individual judges.
The charge for possession with intent to distribute is a felony and often carries a far more severe punishment. Different judges will handle each situation in different ways, which is why having an experienced lawyer who can not only help you to plan for what is to come, but will tailor the case to the judge’s sensibilities, is important.
The punishment is determined using sentencing guidelines that are advisory but have proven to be extremely influential with sentencing judges. Most often, you can predict what punishment someone will get based on the history of the judge and the crime committed.
A judge looks at the following facts when sentencing:
•    Whether or not the accused knew and willingly possessed the controlled substance; and
•    The accused had the drugs with the intent to distribute them (either to others for sale or directly to customers).
It is important to know that possession with intent to distribute does not mean that there needs to be a financial transaction.
A possession with intent to distribute drugs conviction is treated similarly to possession with intent to sell, though they are often different in scope. If you have been accused of either and are facing legal action, Nebraska lawyer Daniel Stockmann has the experience and expertise to handle your case.
Possession With Intent to Sell Does Not Require Proof That the Drugs Were For Sale
Under current laws, a person who was found to be in possession of a large quantity of drugs can be charged and convicted of possession with intent to distribute. It does not require evidence that the accused was actually trying to sell the drugs at all. There doesn’t even need to be proof that the accused was going to deliver the drugs to anyone. A large enough quantity of drugs, too large for one person to reasonably use, is evidence of possession with intent to distribute. If the drugs can be reasonably used by one person, it may just warrant a simple possession charge.
The proof to support possession with intent to distribute convictions is based almost solely on the quantity of the controlled substance that the person has. Of course, the more evidence that the prosecution has, the better to convict the person. If there are two people (or more) involved in the case, courts will often add a drug conspiracy charge to the list of offenses.

Defenses To Possession With Intent to Distribute

A comprehensive legal defense to the charge of possession with intent to distribute can be that the accused did not know that they were in possession of drugs. These situations can include someone who was a passenger in a car that had a quantity of drugs, but that person was unaware of their existence. Knowledge is a vital part of the charge – knowledge when getting into the car. The passenger who is unaware of the drugs is not participatory in the crime. This is a very tricky thing to prove and requires the insight of a lawyer who has worked through many drug cases.
Possession or simple possession is a misdemeanor under most state laws. This is when a small quantity, usually the amount for personal use, is found. Often, this will be someone’s first drug offense and usually means that if someone is willing to undergo treatment or attend drug classes, the charges will be dropped.

Contact an Interstate Drug Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with possession or possession with intent to distribute – or any other type of drug charge, you need to seek legal representation quickly. These cases are treated extremely seriously and judges can be quite harsh on those who are found guilty.
Contact drug defense attorney Daniel Stockmann today for more information about how you can protect yourself and stand up for your rights. Call Stockmann Law at 844-906-0641.