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How does law enforcement prove an intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

It is possible for the state of Florida to charge you with multiple drug offenses. For example, if the police discover illegal drugs in your possession, they may suspect that you intended to deliver them to someone else. As a result, you may end up with a possession charge and an intent to distribute charge.

However, proving that you had intended to deliver, sell or otherwise pass on illegal substances to someone else is not an easy task. FindLaw explains how law enforcement may try to establish that a person intended to distribute drugs.

Possession of drugs

The problem with proving an intent to distribute drugs is that law enforcement cannot read your mind to learn your intentions. The police may discover illegal drugs on your property or someplace within your control, but that alone may not constitute proof that you intended to deliver it to somebody else.

The number of drugs might become an issue. The police may infer that if you possess a stash of drugs greater than what you could personally use, it means you intended to distribute the surplus to other drug users.

Packaging evidence

The police will likely need additional evidence that you intended to distribute drugs. They may look for documents like emails or letters from people who want to buy drugs from you. They may also look for recent large transfers of money into your account or great amounts of cash in your home.

Packaging materials could be another form of evidence. The police might interpret items like boxes, paper bags, and tape as an intention to pack up drugs and deliver it to a person or to have the drugs ready for somebody to come by and take them.

A lack of drugs or other evidence

Law enforcement may have significant problems proving you intended to distribute drugs if they cannot find any drugs in your possession. Still, this does not mean that law enforcement will not try to charge you with another offense like conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs.

Questions of evidence are an important component of many criminal cases, and drug offenses are no different. A lack of evidence or poor evidence may make it difficult if not impossible for a court to convict you of a drug crime.

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