When Does Possession Become an Intent to Sell?

Posted on by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices

Criminal Defense Lawyers Fighting Intent to Sell Charges in New Mexico Courts

man in handcuffs for possession of cocaine Sometimes, possession is just possession. There are other instances where the prosecution might turn possession charges into an intent to sell or distribute charge. In this scenario, you are facing more than a misdemeanor. In fact, you are now facing punishments like drug trafficking. You could face a felony, massive financial penalties, and long-term repercussions – all for carrying too much of a controlled substance.

Many people hold misconceptions about what constitutes intent to sell versus possession. If you are arrested for possession of any kind, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to ensure that an intent to distribute is not attached to your crime.

The Type of Drug and the NM CDS

The Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) is a federal list of drugs and associated penalties. New Mexico has five schedules to their CDS. Where you land on the schedules can also determine the minimum amount you are carrying to receive an intent to sell charge, in addition to possession. Schedule I are the most dangerous drugs because they have the highest rates of abuse and addiction. Regardless of which schedule you possess, it is illegal to make, sell, or possess any CDS-category substance.

The Amount of CDS Drugs You Are Caught With Matters, Too

When you are arrested, officers take all CDS substances as evidence. When you are caught with a large volume of a CDS, you might face drug trafficking or intent to distribute charges. However, the term “large size” is not always clear. When it comes to marijuana, carrying one ounce or less is considered personal use. Officers do not expect that someone with one or fewer ounces is distributing. However, if you were caught with eight ounces or more, you most likely will face a felony and drug trafficking charges.

Per New Mexico Statute Section 30-31-20, you are guilty of trafficking if you manufactured a controlled substances from Schedules I through V, or if you distributed, sold, or bartered these substances. Possession with intent to distribute applies to anyone with a controlled substance, including salts, isomers, and salts of isomers.

The Penalties for Trafficking/Intent to Deliver

If you are convicted of possession with intent to distribute, your charges could span dramatically depending on the amount and the type of substance you are caught with. Possession of marijuana is a felony that can involve up to 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,0000.

You Have Defense Options

Whether you intended to distribute or use your substances for personal use, you have defense options. A criminal defense attorney can argue that the substance was authorized (such as a prescription), disprove the prosecution’s case about distribution intent, and more.

Speak with a drug crimes attorney from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to explore your defense options. We offer free consultations, so request your appointment now at 505-375-4671 or ask for an appointment online.