How do authorities determine intent to distribute?

How do authorities determine intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes

Drug possession is a serious crime that comes with severe consequences. However, those consequences only increase if members of law enforcement determine that the person in possession of a substance intended to sell some of it to other people. There are some factors that come into play that differentiate regular possession from possession with intent to distribute.

How do authorities determine intent to distribute in Alabama?

They note the quantity of the drug

One of the main factors that authorities use to determine whether someone intended on selling a substance is the amount of the substance the person possesses. When someone has a very large quantity of a drug on their person or in their residence, a reasonable assumption for law enforcement is that the person meant for some or most of that substance to go to someone else.

They observe large amounts of cash

People who sell drugs often operate on a cash-only basis in order to not leave an electronic or paper trail of their dealings behind. Because of this, the presence of large amounts of cash may tip members of law enforcement off that they are dealing with a case of intent to distribute. This becomes even more true if authorities have already found large amounts of drugs on the same premises as the cash.

Penalties for any drug crime are already severe, so it is wise for people to avoid doing anything that could cause a member of law enforcement to believe they intended to sell a drug in addition to possessing the substance.