What is Intent to Distribute?
Drug possession is a serious offense in Utah and the severity of the offense depends on a number of different factors such as where the possession took place, what type of drug was possessed, and if the drug was possessed for personal use or with the intent to distribute. If the state can show that an individual had the intent to distribute the drugs in their possession then the charges brought become much more severe as well as the penalties that will be imposed. For example if an individual has marijuana and is charged with just simple possession then that charge will be a class B misdemeanor. However, if the state can show that the individual had intent to distribute then the charge automatically jumps to a third degree felony which carries with it a potential penalty of 0-5 years in prison. The issue in cases of distribution is how does the state show what the individuals “intent” was.
Proving Intent to Distribute?
The difficulty with distribution cases is that proving someones intent can only be done by physical factors that don’t actually prove 100% what thoughts a person had in their mind. Normally what the state will use to try and prove distribution is physical factors like possession of a digital scale which they argue is used to weigh the drugs for resale, or possession of small plastic bags which could be used to repackage the drugs into smaller portions for resale. In some cases however just the mere quantity of the drugs in the persons possession is used to argue that it was possessed for distribution and not for personal use.
Obviously distribution charges are very serious and not just because of the prison time a person could possibly do but also because a conviction of distribution brands someone as a drug dealer for the rest of their life. So if you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute then you should call Salcido Law Firm right away to find out what we could do for you.