Why might prosecutors assume that someone had intent to sell drugs?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Drug Charges |

Anyone who gets caught in possession of controlled substances in Louisiana might face criminal charges. Police officers arrest anyone who possesses a prescribed drug without a doctor’s note or a prohibited drug.

Someone arrested due to their alleged possession of a drug might expect to face simple possession charges. However, Louisiana prosecutors might bring more serious charges in some cases. They could accuse someone of having possession with the intent to distribute drugs to other people. People accused of possession with intent typically face felony charges, while basic possession offenses can sometimes be misdemeanors.

What would lead to a state prosecutor assuming that someone intended to sell the drugs in their possession instead of retaining them for personal use?

The weight of the drugs

The more drugs people have in their possession, the more likely the state is to assume those drugs are not for personal use. It may seem reasonable for those who have substance abuse disorders to purchase large amounts. They could minimize how many times they have to interact with someone selling on the unregulated market and may be able to get a better price for the drugs that they frequently use. However, the more they acquire, the more likely the state is to pursue more serious charges against them after an arrest. Having a significant amount of one drug or a variety of different drugs could lead to prosecutors alleging that someone intended to sell those substances to others.

The details of the situation

Seemingly minor details can drastically influence a criminal case. The paraphernalia found on someone’s person, including scales, could lead to accusations of possession with intent. Someone’s prior criminal record, their social connections or even their location at the time of their arrest could also factor into how the state perceives their conduct and what charges prosecutors file. Possession with intent to distribute is a more serious offense than simple possession. As such, people accused of this offense face enhanced penalties and a criminal record that is more likely to alter their opportunities in life.

Understanding how the state determines what charges to pursue may help those hoping to defend against pending drug charges. Defendants who plan carefully can potentially avoid a conviction that could change the course of their lives for the worse.


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