Possession with Intent to Sell
Florida Statute Section 893.13(1)(a), prohibits a person from possessing any controlled substance “with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver” the controlled substance. Depending on the type of substance possessed, the crime can be charged as a third degree felony or a second degree felony.
Law enforcement officers often over charge a simple possession of a controlled substance offense to the more serious charge of possession with intent to sell or delivery. Although it is easy for the officer to write up the more serious offense, it can often be more difficult for the prosecutor to prove the charges at trial beyond all reasonable doubt.
After an arrest for an intent to sell charge, the prosecutor will review the charges within the first 21 days after the arrest. In many of these cases the prosecutor will elect to file only less serious charges for possession. In cases in which the more serious charges are filed, a criminal defense attorney may be able to file a motion to dismiss the allegation of intent to sell.
Defenses can also be asserted when the search or seizure of evidence was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Your attorney can explore the legality of your initial stop, detention, search and seizure. If the officer made any mistakes, your attorney can file and litigate a motion to suppress the evidence because of that misconduct.
Attorney for Possession with Intent to Sell in Tampa, FL
If you have been arrested for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance then contact an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients charged with serious drug crimes in Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the surrounding areas of Tampa Bay.
Our main offices are located in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County, FL. Our second office is located in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL, across from the courthouse at the West County Judicial Center.
We represent people charged with possession with intent to sell a controlled substance in Tampa in Hillsborough County, Clearwater or St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Bartow or Lakeland in Polk County and New Port Richey or Dade City in Pasco County, Florida.
Elements of Possession with Intent to Sell
To prove possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant possessed a certain substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the substance;
- The substance was a controlled substance as defined in Section 893.03, Florida Statutes;
- The defendant had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance.
For purposes of drug crimes in Florida, the term “sell” is defined as the transfer or delivery of something to another person in exchange for money or something of value, or a promise of money or something of value.
The term “possession” is defined to mean that the person had personal charge of or exercised the right of ownership, management, or control over the substance possessed.
Penalties for Possession with Intent to Sell
The punishment for intent to sell or delivery is drastically more serious then simple possession. Small factual details often make the difference, although even in tough cases, an aggressive defense may cause the prosecutor to drop the intent to sell or deliver accusation.
Depending on the type of controlled substance possessed, the crime of possession with intent to sell is classified as a second or third degree felony. For example, possession of cannabis with intent to sell is classified as third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Possession of cocaine with intent to sell is classified as a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.
Factors Indicating Intent to Sell or Deliver
Factors indicating intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance can include the following:
- statements by the defendant admitting that he had the intent to sell the drugs;
- the manner in which the drugs were packaged;
- the presence of drug paraphernalia such as scales, or baggies;
- the presence of U.S. Currency (cash);
- the presence of a firearm or other weapon; and
- the types and quantities of drugs involved.
If any of the factors mentioned above are not present in the case, that may also be circumstantial evidence that the possession was not with the intention to sell. A conviction for “intent to sell” can have serious consequences when it comes to finding housing, qualifying for student loans or financial aid, pursuing a higher education, and finding employment.
Finding a Lawyer for Possession with Intent to Sell in Hillsborough County, FL
If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, contact an experienced attorney in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL.
We work with our clients to aggressively fight the charges. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the charges pending against you, the potential penalties, and the best defenses to fight the charges aggressively.
On the jail inquiry detail sheet, related offenses are sometimes listed as “delivery of cocaine,” “delivery of a controlled substances,” or “delivery of a controlled substances within 1,000 feet” of a convenience store, school or church.
We represent clients charged with serious drug offenses throughout Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, and Polk County, FL, and the surrounding areas in the Tampa Bay area.
This article was updated by Jason D. Sammis on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.