In order to be convicted in a trial, the prosecution must be able to clearly demonstrate that the defendant committed the crime for which he or she is charged. To get a conviction, the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. And one of the most serious crimes in which the reasonable doubt standard is important is that of possession with intent to distribute illegal substances.
As the name indicates, a possession with intent to distribute has two parts that must be proven. First, to demonstrate possession, the prosecution must show that you were either holding an illegal substance or you had knowledge of the whereabouts of an illegal substance.
And as for intent to distribute, often the evidence used is more circumstantial. For instance, the prosecution may attempt to pursue a conviction for intent to distribute if the amount of a substance found during the arrest is considered in excess to that which would commonly be held for personal use. The recovery of such items as scales, packaging materials and vast sums of cash could also be adopted as part of the prosecution’s case.
The application of reasonable doubt is typically tied to the specific circumstances. For instance, if a cache of drugs was found in your garage, the authorities must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of its existence in order to get the possession part of the charge to stick. Likewise, the preponderance of the evidence needs to indicate that whatever was seized was earmarked for distribution.
When facing possession with intent to distribute charges, remember that the prosecution is on the spot to prove its case. But it is also important to have an experienced criminal attorney who can help show the weaknesses in evidence the prosecution presents. An attorney can also provide the information you need to make a sound decision regarding which of your available legal options you wish to pursue.