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3 times state prosecutors may file possession with intent charges

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Drug Charges

Although those arrested for minor criminal offenses hope for lenient treatment, they often face exactly the opposite in the Florida criminal justice system. Florida prosecutors often take a relatively aggressive approach to criminal charges. They may bring multiple charges against someone for a single incident or may pursue the most intense charges they can given the circumstances.

For example, prosecutors may try to file a possession with intent charge against someone arrested for the possession of controlled or prohibited substances. When might a Florida criminal defendant face possession with intent charges instead of simple possession charges?

When someone has certain paraphernalia

Certain items have a strong association with the illicit drug trade. For example, postage scales and digital scales could help someone weigh drugs for the purpose of distributing them to others. The actual packaging used to hold drugs could also give prosecutors reason to suspect possession with intent to distribute the drugs to others. Finally, paraphernalia used to consume drugs could also have an association with drug distribution in some cases.

When someone has a lot of drugs

There are two ways in which the drugs themselves in someone’s possession might raise questions about what they intended to do with those drugs. The first is when someone had a particularly high volume of drugs in their possession. The second is when they have a large assortment of different drugs. Prosecutors may be able to point at what police officers found on someone in an attempt to convince the courts that their goal was drug trafficking, not drug consumption.

When someone has prior charges or the wrong connections

Someone with a prior drug trafficking conviction on their record is more likely to face scrutiny for potential future trafficking infractions after any subsequent arrest than those with no prior convictions. An individual does not necessarily have to have any charges in their own criminal background if they regularly associate with those who are known to participate in the illicit drug trade.

Possession with intent charges in Florida are felony offenses that can have major implications for someone’s future. Understanding why prosecutors pursue certain charges against individuals may help people prepare more effective responses after their arrest and arraignment.