What’s The Difference Between Personal Use And Intent To Sell Drugs?

When drug arrests are made, there is usually a list of the charges. Sometimes the charges are straightforward, such as “possession of marijuana,” but other times it is not as easy to determine what crime needs to be defended. This confusion may be the result of a lack of knowledge about the drug laws, or uncertainty over how the charges filed actually apply to the facts of your case. For example, you might think that being caught with a small amount of a drug would only be classified as a “personal use” charge, but that is not always true.

There is a difference between personal use, and the more serious charge of Possession With Intent To Sell. Here are some of the key distinctions between the two:

• While not a conclusive factor, the quantity of drug found on you when arrested plays a role in whether you are also charged with intent to sell drugs. If the amount is so small that use can only be limited to yourself, you might be able to avoid also being charged with intent to sell drugs.
• The way the substance is packaged can also indicate you intend to make a sale. For instance, if you separate the drugs into individual baggies rather than keeping it all together, the appearance is that you intend to sell those individual baggies.

To be charged with possession, plus the intent to sell, the arresting officer does not need to witness you attempt to make a sale. If you are charged with intent, the punishment can be more severe than a simple possession charge, and the classification of crime may increase from a misdemeanor to a felony. When defending a charge that you were in possession of a drug, with the intent to sell it, the totality of the circumstances has to be examined. This requires a thorough investigation into your case, so the facts can be developed completely. Some facts that could lead to an intent to sell charge include instances where you are also in possession of large sums of cash, or drug paraphernalia is also found. Call our office today to learn how you can defend drug charges, and whether you are likely to be charged with a personal use possession, or will have to face charges that you intended to sell drugs also.

If you have questions about personal use drug cases or possession with intent to sell charges, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West.