Intent to Sell

Possessing illegal drugs and other controlled substances can result in serious criminal charges with correspondingly serious consequences. But if police and prosecutors believe that you had the intent to sell or distribute those drugs to others, you are facing an even greater ordeal.

Even if you had no actual intent to sell the drugs, simply having large quantities of illegal drugs or other items – such as scales, baggies, or a lot of cash – can result in charges and a conviction for possession with intent to sell. Given the discretion prosecutors have in deciding which drug charges you will face, and their inclination to pursue the harshest charges possible, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Brooklyn drug crime defense attorney if you are facing any kind of drug possession or intent to sell charges.

Presumptions and Inferences Regarding Intent to Sell

In New York, intent to sell or distribute is technically a drug possession charge, but with larger penalties upon conviction and different elements of proof needed for prosecutors to obtain that conviction. Possession with intent to sell in Brooklyn, or anywhere else in New York, can be charged as Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree or Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, both felonies.

Possession with intent to sell charges aren’t brought only in cases where police caught the accused in the act of attempting to sell drugs. The “intent” element of “intent to sell” is often based on circumstantial evidence that indicates that the drugs in a person’s possession were not simply for personal use. While possessing large quantities of drugs is often the basis of an intent to sell charge, even small amounts can lead to such charges if other evidence or circumstances indicating an intent to sell are present.

Evidence that prosecutors might use to infer intent to sell may include:

  • Drugs individually packed in small amounts
  • Empty bags, vials, or capsules
  • Scales, razors, or other paraphernalia
  • Large quantities of cash, especially in small denominations
  • Observation of multiple visitors for short periods of time
  • Evidence of prior sales
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Admissions or statements by the accused

In possession with intent to sell cases, especially those based on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution must be aggressively challenged as to the issue of intent. An experienced drug defense attorney will seek out grounds for excluding evidence which was improperly obtained, and challenge the veracity of the prosecution’s witnesses.

When charged with a drug crime – straight possession or possession with intent to sell – it is imperative that you have an attorney on your side who understands New York drug laws and knows how to win. At Epstein & Conroy, our experienced Brooklyn drug crime defense attorneys fight to protect the rights of those accused of drug offenses and will leave no stone unturned to obtain the best possible outcome.

Contact Epstein & Conroy today by calling (718) 852-6763 to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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