The police may raid someone’s Rhode Island residence and find drugs, resulting in a suspect facing possession with intent to distribute charges. The prosecution must prove several elements for such charges to have merit.
The basics of intent to distribute
The volume of drugs found in someone’s possession would likely add credibility to intent to distribute charges. Someone with a small amount of drugs may face possession charges, including possible felony ones. However, minor possession is not as severe as intending to traffic or distribute several kilos of controlled substances. So, if the police discover 20 vials of anabolic steroids or several grams of cocaine, the assumption would be the person intends to sell the drugs.
Other evidence pointing to possession with the intent to distribute could include bags and weighing scales. Persons possessing significant amounts of drugs and drug paraphernalia, along with firearms and thousands of dollars of cash, may appear to be running a substantial trafficking operation.
Issues with drug charges
Drug crimes derive from specific statures. For example, evidence of distribution might exist even though someone does not possess controlled substances. Possession charges would not apply here, although conspiracy charges might.
Also, the accused must control the drugs for possession charges to have merit. If the drugs are in the person’s home or garage, the individual likely has control over them. Granted, the person must know the drugs are there. If someone else secretly hides drugs in someone’s home, the owner doubtfully has any control over them. Additionally, someone with knowledge of drugs stored in another person’s home but no control over the contraband does not likely possess the drugs.