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When can the police charge you with intent to distribute drugs?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

The Virginia State Police reported that in 2022, they arrested over 13,000 people for drug-related crimes. Law enforcement in the state takes drug offenses seriously.

If you or someone you know faces drug-related charges, you must understand the specific criteria and conditions related to these charges.

Factors used to determine intent

A large quantity of drugs in your possession can serve as a clear indicator of intent to distribute. If you possess an amount that goes beyond personal use, police may believe you plan to distribute or sell. Here are some other factors that could determine the charges:

  • Packaging: Drugs divided into separate packages or baggies can hint at an intent to distribute. Such packaging often suggests readiness for sale or distribution to various individuals.
  • Presence of paraphernalia: Police view items like scales, significant amounts of cash and baggies as evidence of intent to distribute. These items, common in the drug trade, imply a setup for measuring, packaging and selling drugs.
  • Communication: Police can use text messages, phone calls or other communication methods that mention drug sales or distribution as evidence of intent. Access to this kind of information bolsters their case against you.

Police may also suspect more than personal use if they find you in areas known for drug activity or frequent transactions.

Consequences of the charge

Facing a charge of intent to distribute is no light matter. Penalties are steeper than those for simple possession, encompassing extended jail or prison time and heftier fines. A conviction can also cast a long shadow over your personal and professional life, affecting job prospects and personal relationships.

If you’re facing charges, it is important to understand Virginia’s laws and adhere to them so you can fully understand your rights. Stay informed and make informed decisions. Knowledge is your best defense.


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