Sec 11378 of the Penal Code of California defines the criminal act of drug possession with intent to sell as the control of drugs or controlled substances with the intention to exchange these illegal drugs for money or for some other benefit.
Intent to sell is a fact that can be proven based on the attendant circumstances of the case. The following are but some of the factors that assist law enforcement in divining intent to sell for illegal drugs found in the possession of an accused:
a) The physical set-up of the drugs found. If the drugs were found in small packets, individually packaged together with cash and/or weapons, then the police officers would be lead to the conclusion that the said drugs were to be sold and distributed;
b) The place where the drugs were found. If the drugs were found in the possession of the accused in a known drug dealing area, together with a sufficient volume above personal use, then the accused can be presumed to be selling the said drugs in their possession;
In order to prove the crime of possession with intent to sell, the following elements need to be proven:
1. The accused had control over the illegal drugs. This means that the accused had the power to control the drug, be it directly or indirectly;
2. The amount of drugs found must be well above personal use and not mere residue. These drugs found must be in a quantity usable not just by an individual but many others;
3. The intent to sell must be proven and the two factors aforementioned determine the intent to sell;
4. The accused must have direct knowledge of the drug’s presence, the illegality of possession of such substances and the preparation of measures to avoid the detection of the presence of such drugs;
The crime of illegal drug possession for sale is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.