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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Defining Possession With “Intent To Sell” In Florida

Defining Possession With “Intent To Sell” In Florida


Possessing a controlled substance in Florida is a serious crime all on its own, but possession when “intent to sell” is detected can lead to long-term consequences. Drug possession is a crime against oneself, but possession of drugs with intent to sell is seen as a larger crime against society, and is prosecuted aggressively as a result. If you have been charged with possession with intent to sell, you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights.

Seen As Greater Crime

Because of Florida’s past history as a hot spot for illicit drug use, though, the legal system prosecutes drug crimes very aggressively. For example, Florida is one of the states that still uses mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, particularly for trafficking charges. While this is not generally the case for possession crimes, the fact remains that Florida state’s attorneys are not particularly inclined to leniency, seeing drug offenses as a threat to the populace at large, rather than simply to the user.

There are two types of drug possession under state law. “Simple” possession, in Florida, means possession of a controlled substance for the specific intention of using it oneself. By comparison, ‘possession with intent to sell’ is fairly self-explanatory. This differs from drug trafficking, which is the act of transporting or otherwise moving illegal substances, rather than selling them. Trafficking is seen as a more severe offense, in general, but this does not mean that a charge of possession with intent to sell should not be taken seriously.

No Intent Required

There are three major criteria for prosecutors to establish before a defendant can be convicted of possession with intent to sell drugs in Florida. They are:

  • They had a specific substance in their possession, with the intent to “sell, manufacture, or deliver” it to others;
  • The substance in question is controlled and/or scheduled by the state; and
  • The defendant knew that their possession of that substance was unlawful.

It may seem difficult to establish that someone had sufficient intent to ‘sell, manufacture, or deliver’ a substance. However, Florida law does allow law enforcement to charge someone with possession with intent to sell a substance if they simply find a large quantity of that substance in their possession. For example, if a large quantity of cannabis is found in someone’s home, they can be charged with intent to sell even if there is no evidence that they would actually do so.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney

Because selling or distributing illegal drugs is seen as a crime against society, you should take any charges of this nature extremely seriously. A West Palm Beach drug crimes attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help ensure that you get your day in court. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.

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