If law enforcement officers charge you with simple drug possession, then you can expect relatively moderate penalties from a conviction. If you stand accused of possession with the intent to distribute, however, you will likely face much harsher consequences.
Where certain controlled substances are present, possession with intent to distribute can even result in a felony conviction. It is important for you to understand when you might face these types of charges and what you can do to defend yourself against them.
What does it mean to have the intent to distribute?
Police officers might believe that you have the intent to distribute drugs if they catch you in the act of doing so or if they find a particularly large amount of controlled substances in your possession. The Code of Virginia explains that such acts of giving away, selling, distributing or having the intent to distribute controlled substances are unlawful beyond the scope of simple drug possession. Similarly, you might face charges of intent to manufacture drugs if the authorities discover certain types of equipment in your possession.
How can you defend yourself against intent to distribute charges?
Your right to remain silent is your first line of defense against any type of drug possession charge. Being careful to not admit to possessing or distributing drugs ensures that you have a fighting chance in court. You should also refrain from consenting to any unwarranted searches, as this gives you the opportunity to build a case around a wrongful search and seizure conducted by officers at the scene.
Drug possession with the intent to distribute is a much harsher charge than simple possession. It is important to take these types of charges very seriously and take appropriate legal action to protect yourself from a conviction.