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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

How authorities may try to prove intent to distribute

The justice system has little patience for drug crimes. The combination of strict laws, complex statutes and mandatory minimum sentences means anyone accused of a drug-related activity faces quite an uphill battle.

Of particular concern for anyone in this situation is seeing phrases such as “intent to deliver or distribute.” When authorities believe someone planned to sell drugs, the charges – and potential penalties – ramp up in severity. But without an admission, how would prosecutors prove an intent to distribute?

Strategies used by prosecutors

What authorities often hope for when pursuing drug-related crimes is a clear admission. That could be the arrested individual admitting to the allegations during police interviews, for example, or something like text messages that demonstrate the person’s intentions. This type of evidence is not common.

In most cases, prosecutors will try to stitch together circumstantial evidence to create their version of events. Some common tactics include:

  • Claiming someone had a large amount of drugs – too much for personal use
  • Pointing to the presence of cash
  • Painting visitor traffic as suspicious
  • Alleging certain equipment suggests distribution
  • Citing previous criminal allegations against the person

None of these pieces of information directly prove someone was intending to distribute drugs. Still, that’s the case prosecutors will try to make.

How to counter these allegations

Courts are aggressive in their pursuit of people they believe are dealing drugs. This can lead to grand claims about your intentions, even if inaccurate. Because of this big push, it’s vital to have strong legal support on your side.

By poking holes in these circumstantial allegations, an attorney can help disprove any accusations of intent to distribute. This potentially minimizes any ensuing criminal penalties, meaning you can get back to life more quickly and with fewer hurdles. In addition, they can pore over the case to see if investigators or authorities ever violated your legal rights during the process, casting doubt on all their claims.