Thursday, January 30, 2014

Possession with Intent to Sell – Proving the Charges

Being arrested for possession is bad enough, but if LVMPD believes there is enough evidence, your charges could be increased to possession of a control substance with intent to sell. Possession with intent to sell is a felony offense in Nevada that typically involves a number of different factors.

In order to convict you of possession with intent, the prosecution must be able to prove that:
  1. You were in possession of a controlled substance or illegal drug; and
  2. You intended to sell the drug.

How is intent proven?

As you can imagine, proving another person’s intentions can be difficult. In this type of case, the prosecutor would probably use the following types of evidence to prove your intent.
  • You had a large quantity of drugs in your possession, more than you would possess if you were simply a recreational user.
  • You were in possession of drugs but were not high, and you did not have any paraphernalia needed to use the drugs. This would indicate that you were not a user.
  • Portions of the drugs were individually stored in baggies or containers.
  • You were carrying a large amount of cash, particularly numerous small bills.
  • You had a weapon on your person, which can indicate that you needed to protect yourself.
  • You were located in an area that is known for facilitating drug deals.

Defenses for Possession with Intent Charges

While any of the types of evidence mentioned above could be damning to your case, they do not prove that you intended to sell drugs. Some of the defenses that can be used to fight these felony charges include:
  • Lack of intent: If you were simply a recreational user, you cannot be convicted of intent to sell. For example, being found in an area known for drug deals with a large amount of drugs in your possession does not prove that you intended to sell. Rather, this could show that you had just purchased the drugs from a dealer for your own use.
  • The drugs weren’t yours: The prosecutor must be able to prove that the drugs were in your possession. However, this can be difficult to prove if the narcotics were found in a house where you live with three other people or in a vehicle that you share with a friend.
  • Your rights were violated: Law enforcement must follow the rules outlined by the 4th Amendment when searching suspects and their vehicles and homes. If your rights were violated by an illegal search and seizure at any time during the investigation, the judge may rule the evidence inadmissible or your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence.
Don’t wait to retain the representation of an experienced Las Vegas defense lawyer. Call De Castroverde Law Group today to discuss your options and read our Possession with Intent to Sell page to learn more about the charges and penalties.