The Difference Between Possession of Drugs; and, Possession of Drugs with Intent to Distribute
Possession of Illegal DrugsThe possession of illegal drugs involves several basic elements. These elements include, the fact that the person had possession (actual, constructive, or joint-constructive possession); of a controlled dangerous substance (a CDS) which is the illegal drug; and, that the person knew that what he had was an illegal drug (a CDS). Each of these elements must be present, and the prosecution must be able to establish them to charge or convict the person of this offense. What you need to be ready to do, is to fully describe to your lawyer what drugs you had, where they were, why you had them, whether you have a drug use problem, where the drug use paraphernalia was if it was not seized, and other related issues that the lawyer can use to support the fact that you had these drugs to use yourself, not to give away to another person.
Possession of Illegal Drugs With the Intent to DistributeThe possession with intent to distribute (PWI), includes all three of the elements necessary to prove possession of an illegal drug; and, in addition, a fourth element, that the drugs were in fact possessed with the intent to deliver them to another person. The concept of distribution does not require a quid pro quo (that there be an exchange of something for the drugs) in order for the intent to deliver to constitute PWI. In addition this element can be established in a wide variety of ways, such as the observation of a hand-to-hand delivery; the type of packaging that the drugs are contained in; the number of doses/units of the drugs in the possesion of the person; and, the presence of drug trafficking paraphernalia. Be prepared to discuss these issues with your lawyer, to attempt to develop an alternative reason for the possession, namely that you were going to use the drugs, not distribute them.