In Michigan, drug possession on its own is a serious crime. You may face felony charges and enhanced penalties, however, if the prosecuting attorney believes you intended to distribute the drugs in question.
According to MCL § 333.7401, possession with intent is just as serious as actually manufacturing, delivering, or creating a controlled substance. Even there is no evidence that you delivered or sold a controlled substance, the intent to do so is a crime in itself.
But how does law enforcement gather evidence of an intent to distribute? How does the state try to prove that a defendant intended to sell or deliver drugs? Let’s dive a little deeper into this topic.
Evidence in Possession with Intent Charges
Possession with intent cases are complex in that they involve the use of surrounding circumstances to prove the goal or intention of the defendant. For example, you may have been arrested for having several ounces of marijuana in your home. Possession of marijuana on its own would be a misdemeanor, but what if the police find baggies, cash, and scales on your property as well? They may try to use this to establish an intent to distribute.
Possession with intent charges are typically supported by such evidence as:
- The controlled substance itself
- Tools or equipment used to weigh, measure, and package the substance
- Large amounts of cash
- Lists of names, locations, and/or phone numbers (client lists)
- Firearms and other weapons
- “Burner” cell phones
Using this evidence, the prosecution may try to charge you with a felony—possession with intent under MCL § 333.7401. Penalties for possession with intent to distribute will depend on the type and amount of controlled substance, ranging from up to 2 years all the way to life in prison.
Disproving Intent & How an Attorney Can Help
Even when it seems like the odds are stacked against you and you’re facing serious prison time, you need to remember that you have the right to an attorney. Our criminal justice system is designed in such a way as to give you an opportunity to show your side of the story. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden is on the prosecution’s shoulders to prove intent.
As a Farmington Hills criminal defense attorney with 18 years of experience, I’m committed to fighting for people in all walks of life who have found themselves facing possession with intent and other drug crime charges. I know that your freedom is on the line, and that’s why I apply myself and all of my firm’s resources to every case with professionalism and passion.
When it comes to possession with intent charges, I know how to discover and expose issues like:
- Unlawful searches
- Mishandled evidence
- Miranda rights violations
- Other errors or violations by law enforcement
The presence of a measuring scale, cash, or baggies does not necessarily prove intent to distribute. Finding drugs on a person, in his or her car, or on his or her property does not prove that they belong to him or her. Find out what defenses can be used to protect your rights by involving my firm.
Call (248) 599-0054 today for your free consultation.