Maryland residents who are charged with possession with intent to distribute could face serious penalties. To be charged with this crime, three elements must be satisfied and two of them must be satisfied at the same time. First, it must be shown that a person was in possession of the drugs. Then, it must be shown that the person intended to distribute or sell them.
Finally, it must be shown that possession with intent to sell was evident when a person was taken into custody. Evidence of possession may include finding drugs in a person's hand or in a person's jacket. Possession may also be established if drugs are found in a vehicle or home that a person owns. However, if that individual didn't know about the presence of the controlled substance, it may not be possible to prove possession occurred.
Intent to distribute may be established based on the amount of drugs found. It may also be established based on the presence of packing materials, large amounts of money or messages from clients. In the event that a person only has a small amount of a controlled substance when taken into custody, that person will only be charged with possession. If money or packing materials are found without the drugs, an individual may only face an intent to distribute charge.
People who have been issued drug charges such as intent to distribute may face jail or prison time if convicted. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney who may create defenses to the charges. For instance, it may be possible to assert that a person had no knowledge that drugs were in a vehicle.