Possession with Intent to Distribute
State & Federal Drug Defense Lawyers
There are so many drug crimes in this country that it can be confusing to keep up with them all. We’re often asked about the difference between possession, intent to distribute, and trafficking, for example.
All three typically arise from arrests of people who are found with drugs in their possession. But the specific charges will depend on how much evidence the police can find and how aggressive the prosecutor wants to be.
As a general rule, police overreach to find evidence wherever they can, and prosecutors strive to be as aggressive as possible. In other words, if the government can charge you with a tougher version of the same crime, it will.
Generally speaking, a simple possession charge is less serious than possession with intent to distribute. More serious than both those, though, is a trafficking charge. And even once you’ve reached the trafficking threshold, different degrees of severity can apply, depending on what you were alleged to have trafficked.
If the FBI or DEA gets involved (and they often do), you’ll be looking at federal possession or federal drug trafficking charges, which are often accompanied by nightmarish federal drug conspiracy charges, too.
This page will focus specifically on the possession with intent to distribute charge at the state and federal levels. It’s an important charge to take seriously, because the government can use it to make a low-level drug user look like a drug dealer.
Police and prosecutors are notorious for applying drug charges unfairly. These cases frequently involve misunderstandings, distorted facts, wrong-place-wrong-time arrests of innocent people, illegal evidence, and law enforcement errors.
Unfortunately, many of the people who are wrongfully arrested decide to represent themselves, believing truth and justice are on their side. Others decide that this should be an easy case, so they trust overburdened or inexperienced lawyers, or simply allow the state to appoint a defender for them.
Don’t make that mistake. The prosecution isn’t particularly interested in whether you’re innocent, and you can’t count on the system to throw out illegal evidence on its own.
The government generally believes it has one job: To zealously prosecute the case against you and secure the maximum charges. Typically, that attitude only starts to change once you have an experienced and aggressive lawyer advocating your interests and defending your rights.
A possession with intent to distribute charge is extremely serious. You owe it to yourself to get the best, most vigorous private legal defense you can find. It might be the most important thing you ever do.
At Oberheiden, P.C., we fight to get charges dropped. Let us fight for you. Call today.
Texas Possession with Intent to Distribute Cases: The Evidence Against You
As its name suggests, the crime of possession with intent to distribute is an intent crime. That means that, in addition to proving that you possessed an illegal substance (not always an easy thing to prove), the government must also prove that you had the intent to distribute that substance to others (an even harder thing to prove).
The state has its work cut out for it. Don’t let that fool you, though. They win these cases all the time. There is a reason that Texas prisons and federal penitentiaries are filled with low-level drug users.
So how does the government prove your intent to distribute? Often, by inference. In other words, they can simply look at the circumstances around you and assume the worst, inferring that your circumstances suggest that you’re a drug dealer. Law enforcement can consider things like:
- Was the substance more than someone would have “for personal use?”
- Was the substance especially pure?
- Did you have a lot of cash on you? (Even if there’s no evidence that the cash is related to drugs.)
- Have you been making any “suspicious” phone calls or text messages?
- Did you have any packaging or paraphernalia around that suggests distribution? (Merely having empty baggies or a scale in your house could be enough.)
… And more. You can see why it’s so important to have an effective legal team fighting for you. The state looks for facts and twists them.
Often, the people in these cases did not realize they were in possession at all. Or perhaps they are low-level users with real substance abuse issues that need to be addressed outside of the criminal justice system – in those cases, they often have no idea whether their substance is especially “pure.” The government has even been known to weigh the substance unfairly, so as to make it look like more than it really is.
We Fight Drug Possession Charges
At Oberheiden, P.C., we have effectively defended many people in drug crime cases throughout Texas and all across the country. Often, we have been successful in getting the charges completely dropped.
We fight hard for the people we represent. We genuinely care about what happens to you.
Our state & federal drug defense lawyers work with former federal prosecutors and FBI special agents to prepare the best possible defense in each of our cases.