What Constitutes Intent to Sell?

While simply possessing illegal drugs is enough to warrant a citation or arrest, it is possible to be charged with the much more serious crime of possession with intent to distribute. The consequences of a conviction on intent to sell charges are severe, ranging up to 15 years imprisonment and $25,000 in fines, depending on the substance in question.

While the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C Sections 32 – 32D clearly state that “Any person who knowingly or intentionally manufactures, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled substance” is in violation, it is unclear exactly what constitutes intent and thus vital that anyone facing an intent to sell charge seek skilled and experienced legal representation to ensure that their rights are protected.

Incriminating Factors

It is the burden of the police and prosecution to demonstrate intent to sell, and there are several factors and circumstances they will use in order to prove intent, such as:

  • Possessing scales, measures, baggies, and other equipment commonly used in distribution.
  • Having a large amount of cash on hand, especially if much of it is in smaller bills.
  • The amount of drugs possessed. The larger the amount in possession, the easier it is to show intent to distribute.
  • Address books or client lists for which a legitimate purpose cannot be shown.

Without strong and irrefutable evidence that there was intent to distribute, charges may be lowered to simple possession.

Contact Us

Due to the unclear nature of intent, it is vital for anyone under charges of possession with intent to sell to seek out quality, experienced legal counsel. Cape Cod criminal defense lawyer James Powderly has years of experience in drug charges and will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and interests. Contact attorney Powderly by calling 508-343-0676 today for a consultation.


Interview with a Former DUI Client