Criminal defense: drug possession differs from distribution

A Massachusetts resident who is suddenly facing a drug charge likely has a lot of questions. Drug charges can suddenly change a person's life -- often for the worse. While a person may have at one time been enjoying a normal, stable life, all of this may be suddenly threatened when they are charged with a drug crime. Drug charges can not only result in high fines and potential jail or prison time, they can also damage a person's reputation.

Because a person's reputation is at stake -- in both a person's personal and private life -- it is often important to mount as strong of a legal defense as possible. To do this, it is often helpful to understand what exactly one is being charged with.

For example, there are two different types of drug possession that one may be charge with, and the difference between them can be pretty extreme. A person may be facing a simple drug possession charge. This means that the person was allegedly found with illegal drugs in their possession, and these drugs were for personal use. The key distinction is that there is no intent suspected to distribute the drug.

Drug possession with intent to distribute is a different matter. This category often results in harsher penalties, as law enforcement wishes to deter people from selling drugs with stiffer consequences. Prosecutors must present ample evidence to prove possession with intent to sell. This includes things like large quantities of the drug, digital scales, baggies, witness testimonies and more.

Criminal defense attorneys are available to help the accused mount a strong defense against such charges. The type of evidence mentioned before can be scrutinized in court as part of a defense strategy.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview," Accessed on April 10, 2017

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