The Gaunt | Law Office

More Than 20 Years Of Experience With Criminal Matters

The fine line between possession and possession with intent

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Drug-related Charges

Indiana actively enforces drug prohibition, which means that the police will arrest anyone they find in possession of a prohibited or controlled substance. Frequently, those arrested for drug possession will face simple possession charges. However, in a small number of cases, police officers and prosecutors will decide that the more severe charge of possession with intent may apply.

The state does establish certain weight thresholds for someone to face possession with intent. For example, someone caught with methamphetamine usually needs to have nearly an ounce in their possession for the state to charge them with possession with intent to distribute.

Once the drugs in someone’s possession reach that weight threshold for the specific substance, only a few details differentiate between standard possession and possession with intent.

What makes officers suspect you of distribution?

Obviously, your previous criminal record and any statements you make during your arrest will have a direct and profound impact on how the police officers handling your case view you. Beyond that, what they find in your possession and what they know about your behavior may lead them to suspect you of possession with intent.

For example, if you have numerous close friends who have strong ties to the local drug scene, police officers may view that as a sign that you may possibly provide them with drugs. Especially if you frequently have known drug users, manufacturers or traffickers visiting your home, your social habits could influence what charges you face.

In addition to the overall weight of the substance that police find, the number of substances involved can also play a role. The more different drugs in your possession at the time of your arrest, the more likely police are to believe those substances are not for personal use. Finally, certain kinds of paraphernalia, including digital skills or postage scales, can make police officers think that your intention is to repackage and sell those drugs to others.

A guilty plea could change your life

Possession with intent charges come with massive potential penalties depending on the substance involved and your prior criminal record. If you please guilty, your freedom and your reputation, along with your professional licensing, could all be at risk.

Understanding the charges against you will put you in a better position to actively fight back when accused of a drug offense in Indiana.