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What is drug possession with intent to distribute?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Drug Crimes

If you are currently facing criminal drug charges in California, you are probably worried about the potentially life-altering effects of a conviction. Understanding the accusations against you can help calm your anxiety and strengthen your defense moving forward.

The criminal offense of drug possession with intent to distribute has two main components: possession and intent to distribute. To convict you, a prosecutor must prove that you have committed both elements of the crime at the same time. Here are the details of each criterion to clarify what the criminal charge means for you.


In this situation, possession means having controlled drugs on your person or your property, such as in your home or vehicle. If authorities find you with drugs in your possession, prosecutors have proof of half the criteria needed for prosecution of this crime. In some cases, if you are completely unaware that you have drugs in your possession, you may have a strong defense case.

Intent to distribute

Intent to distribute means that you have plans to give controlled substances to other people, typically in exchange for money. This standard is often trickier to prove. For this reason, prosecutors look at the circumstances surrounding the case, such as the amount of drugs in possession, communication with other involved parties or material evidence of a drug-distributing operation. If prosecutors prove intent to distribute, this satisfies the requirements needed to classify the crime.

Knowing the details of the criminal charges you are facing can help you better understand your situation and gather more information to aid your defense.