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What is intent to distribute under Connecticut criminal law?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

If law enforcement officers catch you in the possession of a prohibited drug, whether it’s a controlled prescription medication or an illegal street drug, you can find yourself facing serious criminal consequences. Those consequences vary depending on the substance in question and how much it weighs.

Possession charges on their own can have very serious criminal consequences, but you could potentially wind up facing even more serious allegations. In some circumstances, law enforcement can charge you with intent to distribute, which can carry more serious consequences under Connecticut law.

There doesn’t need to be evidence of sales for you to face intent charges

The thing that people often get confused about with intent to distribute charges is that these criminal charges don’t require that you have made a sale of an illegal substance. There doesn’t need to be any proof of financial gain from your actions. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors only need to believe that you had a plan to do so while also being in possession of an illegal substance.

It could be possible that you wind up facing intent charges even though you were not actually planning to sell or share the drugs in question. People can wind up charged for simply being the closest person in proximity to drugs found by law enforcement in a building or a vehicle.

However, common household items, such as scales or baggies, could lead law enforcement to assume that you intend to package the drugs for individual sale. If they find you in possession of multiple packages, even if you only bought them for yourself, that could also leave them to suspect intent to distribute. Messages from your phone or computer could also lead to a suspicion about plans to sell the drugs.

You can defend yourself against intent to distribute charges

No matter what the circumstances of your arrest, there is almost always an opportunity to mount a defense to criminal charges, including possession with intent to distribute. Before you decide to plead guilty to save yourself the stress and embarrassment of trial, you should explore if it may be possible to defeat your pending charges.

There are many viable ways to defend yourself, ranging from challenging the validity of an arrest or evidence brought by the prosecution to presenting alternative explanations for otherwise suspicious circumstances. If the drugs were for personal use or they belonged to someone else, that could help your case.

The details of your personal situation and criminal background will inform what defense strategy would work best for you. Sitting down to talk with an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney can help you make more informed decisions about your future.