Possession with intent to distribute charges carry much more significant penalties than misdemeanor drug possession charges in both the state and federal courts. You could be accused of possession with intent to distribute if police found the following:
- An unusually large quantity of an illegal substance.
- An unusually large quantity of cash.
- Instruments perceived by law enforcement as being used to distribute drugs.
Even if you have one or more of these items without intention to distribute, law enforcement will still perceive the items as such and you can be charged.
Brent Mayr: It’s one thing to possess an illegal drug or possess a controlled substance. It’s another thing to possess it with intent to distribute. The problem with that is, in your mind you may be thinking, “This is only for my personal use.” But the state or government is going to look at it as if you possess a certain quantity, that it’s such an abundant quantity that you only have it to distribute to other individuals. Possession with intent could be having something that’s just a larger than usual quantity of cocaine or other illegal substance. It could also involve just having large amounts of cash, or having instruments that are used–what are perceived by law enforcement as instruments that are being used and distributing drugs. That can result in a possession with intent to distribute, which carries much more severe penalties in both state and in federal court.