Anyone caught with a small amount of illegal drugs on their person could face legal troubles. However, those with a significant enough volume of contraband may face possession with intent to distribute charges, which might result in a lengthy prison sentence. In Florida, the criminal statutes establish felony charges for this crime.
Possession with intent to distribute is a drug charge that covers two separate things: possession and intent to distribute. Possession involves controlling the drugs in some way, such as storing them in a house. Intent to distribute involves plans to sell or otherwise move the drugs. If a search of the accused’s residence reveals a significant amount of drugs beyond what could a certain amount, packaging materials and large amounts of money, it would appear the person intends to distribute or is distributing drugs.
Some cases involve intentions to distribute but no possession. If someone did not receive a shipment of drugs they intended to sell, they did not yet possess the contraband. However, the person may face conspiracy charges in such a scenario.
Florida law regarding drug charges states that it is illegal for someone to possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver any controlled substances. Persons arrested and charged under Florida Statute 893.13(1)(a) could face a felony of the second or third degree based on the particular substance named.
There are different ways to defend charges of possession with intent to distribute. If the accused had no knowledge of the drugs nor controlled them, the charges might not apply. Also, evidence illegally obtained would not likely be admissible in court. Defenses vary based on a case’s circumstances.