Possession with Intent to Sell
Criminal offenses involving drugs are frequently charged and may lead to serious consequences upon a conviction. In particular, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell can be charged against a defendant without a sale having ever taken place. As a result, it is important to understand the elements of this offense and potential defenses to the charges. Reno attorney William J. Routsis has defended individuals against drug crimes for over 25 years and is respected within the legal community as a skilled advocate. Mr. Routsis can inform you of your rights and provide comprehensive legal advice regarding a drug charge of possession with intent to sell.Possession with Intent to Sell Charges under Nevada Law
In Nevada, it is a felony for a person to possess controlled substances for the purpose of sale. These include unauthorized prescription medications, narcotics, and other illicit drugs. Under these criminal statutes, an individual can be arrested for possession with intent to sell without an actual sale ever taking place. The prosecution must prove that the defendant was in possession of drugs and that the defendant intended to sell them.
Possession may be proven if an individual knowingly has controlled substances on his or her person, or in a place to which the individual has access, such as a car or house. Proving that the defendant intended to sell the drugs is more difficult to establish, since it requires evidence of the defendant’s mental state. Many times, the police will infer intent to sell under certain circumstances, such as if a substantial quantity of drugs is possessed by the defendant, the controlled substances are in equally measured amounts and stored in separate containers, the defendant was carrying a weapon or large amounts of cash with him, the defendant was not under the influence of the drug, or the defendant was in an area known for drug dealing.
The penalty for a conviction of possession with intent to sell may vary greatly, depending on what schedule the controlled substance appears and the defendant’s prior criminal history, if any. Penalties may include a prison sentence, fines, community service, or probation.Defenses against the Prosecution
It is important to understand that there are several defenses and strategies that may be used to fight a criminal charge of possession with intent to sell. If the defendant did not know the drugs were in his or her possession, there is no crime. For example, if drugs are found in the defendant’s residence but belong to a roommate, and the defendant was unaware they were in the house, this likely does not support a possession with intent to sell charge. If the police violated the defendant’s constitutional rights when searching, arresting, or obtaining evidence, the prosecution may not be allowed to use that evidence against the defendant. In addition, if the defendant did not intend to sell the controlled substance but instead was in possession for personal use, the defendant did not commit the offense of possession with intent to sell. In some cases as well, the felony charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.Protect Your Rights as a Defendant by Consulting a Reno Attorney
Dedicated criminal defense lawyer William J. Routsis represents people in Reno and beyond who are facing prosecution. Mr. Routsis has counseled individuals in many areas of Nevada and California, including Carson City, Winnemuca, Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, and Quincy. To discuss your case with our experienced defense team, call (775) 337-2609 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.