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Possession, Intent, Sale and Trafficking?

For the average person, the line between an ordinary day and one that changes your life can be as thin as the difference between four legal terms regarding drugs: “possession,” “possession with intent to sell,” “sale” and “trafficking.” Serious charges, each with implications that vary dramatically. This is not just a matter of legal jargon but a distinction that could influence the direction of an individual’s future significantly.

Drug Possession Charges

In the Sunshine State, if you’re found with drugs, the charges against you will depend largely on the amount and the type of drugs. Drug possession of some minor drugs like marijuana (cannabis sativa) is less severe. For instance, having less than 20 grams of marijuana, apparently for private use, might lead to a misdemeanor charge. Beware however that conviction of even this misdemeanor involves a two year driver license suspension (a virtual “death knell” for a teenager or young adult). Do not try to handle even one of these apparent minor cases without a lawyer. A lawyer can oftentimes manage to keep the license suspension from happening. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony.

Possession with Intent to Sell

However, even a small amount of more serious drugs like cocaine or heroin could elevate your case to a felony – Possession with intent to sell. This doesn’t just mean you have drugs; it suggests you had plans to distribute them. Law enforcement doesn’t need to catch you in the act of selling. Just having large quantities of drugs, distribution equipment like scales or baggies, or a substantial amount of cash with you can be enough to bring this charge. It’s a significant leap in terms of legal consequences and one that requires a robust defense strategy.

Drug Trafficking

Because of the name of this charge, many think this is a charge about selling or dealing drugs. It is not. Trafficking in a drug is about the AMOUNT of drugs found in your possession. Different drugs require different amounts to result in a Trafficking charge, and higher amounts can result in substantial minimum mandatory prison time and fines. Trafficking is very serious. Get expert legal help if charged with Trafficking.

Sale of Drugs

Drug dealing or distribution is not about what you intended to do with the drugs but what you did or attempted to do. This charge requires evidence of an action—selling, delivering, or distributing illegal substances. These are always felony charges, and they carry penalties that can alter the course of your life: long prison sentences, hefty fines, and a mark on your criminal record that is hard to erase.

Evidence of drug dealing can come from various sources, including surveillance, undercover operations, or informants. The state is particularly aggressive in pursuing these cases, often aiming to dismantle larger networks of distribution. The difference in the required evidence for possession versus sale charges highlights the complexity of defending against these accusations. It’s a nuanced battleground where the specifics of each case matter deeply.

Getting Legal Help

The distinction between drug possession, possession with intent to sell, sale of drugs and drug trafficking carries significant implications. The severity of the penalties, the evidence required to prosecute, and the strategies for defense vary greatly between the charges. For those accused, the stakes are incredibly high, which means you need an experienced and aggressive lawyer on your side who has handled these types of cases.The right legal team will help you understand the nuances of the law, defend against the charges, and work toward the best possible outcome. Whether seeking dismissal of charges, reduced penalties, or alternative sentencing options, knowing your next steps could change your future. For those who need legal assistance, Malcolm Anthony, P.A. is here to offer support and expertise. Our team is committed to providing you with robust defense strategies that will improve outcomes. Don’t wait, call today!



Jacksonville, FL Criminal Defense Attorney​​​​​​If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need the determination and experience of criminal defense attorney Malcolm Anthony on your side. As a Jacksonville area criminal defense attorney, I am a seasoned lawyer with a high success rate in criminal…

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