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Possession with the Intent to Distribute

With Florida being an international border it can be a hot spot for major drug distribution. Additionally, selling marijuana without legal authorization or possessing drug paraphernalia can also subject a person to possession with the intent to distribute charges.

Moreover, doctor shopping and prescription forgery crimes in Florida are on the rise as prescription drug distribution becomes increasingly lucrative. 

Florida law provides multiple avenues for being charged with dealing drugs and being caught could subject a person to serious State or federal consequences. If you have been arrested for possession with the intent to distribute, then immediately assert your right to silence and ask to speak with an attorney.


Attorney for Possession with the Intent to Sell in Pensacola, FL

John Terrezza has devoted his entire career to criminal defense. He has defended clients against criminal charges of possession with the intent to sell in the courtrooms in Pensacola in Escambia County and Milton in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Terrezza also takes federal drug crime cases that are prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

If you or someone you know has had the misfortune of being charged with possession with the intent to sell, then call a lawyer who will fight to protect you against harsh penalties.

Call (850) 764-5291 to schedule an appointment either on the phone or in the office.


Elements of Possession with the Intent to Sell under Florida Statute §893.13

At trial, the prosecutor for the State of Florida must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant possessed drugs and was going to distribute them. The elements of the offense include proving the following:

  1. that the defendant sold, manufactured, delivered, purchased, or possessed with the intent to sell, distribute, purchase or deliver, a certain controlled substance;
  2. that the defendant had knowledge of the presence of the substance; and
  3. that the substance found was the substance alleged to have been distributed.

Florida law provides two different ways of proving possession including:

To show an intention to distribute drugs, the courts in Pensacola, Florida, will look at several factors including the presence of things like baggies, weigh scales, and other mixing formulas.

In some instances, the federal government investigates drug crimes, and the cases are prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. If controlled substances are imported from other countries or across state lines, possession with the intent to distribute crimes can be prosecuted in federal court under 18 U.S.C. §841. If you need a federal criminal defense attorney in Pensacola or the surrounding areas, then call Attorney John Terrezza.


Schedules of Controlled Substances Provided in Florida Statute §893.03

Florida law categorizes controlled substances into schedules based on their potential for abuse. Penalties for possession with the intent to distribute depend on kind of controlled substance possessed, the amount of drugs possessed, and the circumstances under which the drugs were possessed.

  1. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and are not accepted for medical use in the United States.
  2. Schedule II drugs are currently accepted for medical use but are severely restricted as they have a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. (Examples include opium extracts, hydrocodone, or morphine).
  3. Schedule III substances have less of a risk of dependence than those in Schedules I or II and are currently accepted for medical use in the United States, but still, may lead to moderate or low physical dependence. (Examples include Benzphetamine).
  4. Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse and are currently accepted for medical treatment in the United States. However, such substances may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence.
  5. Schedule V substances have a low potential for abuse relative to those in Schedule IV and are currently accepted for medical use in the United States. (For example, substances, which include not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 grams).

Charges for Possession with the Intent to Sell

As stated, the penalties for possession with the intent to distribute may depend on the schedule of drug and the amount possessed.

First-Degree Misdemeanor - distribution or sale of any Schedule V substance is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

Third-Degree Felony - possession with the intent to sell, deliver or manufacture some Schedule I, or II substances, and all Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs. (See Florida §893.03(1)(c), and (2)(c)1-9 for which Schedule I or II drugs qualify as third-degree felony).

Second-Degree Felony - possession with the intent to sell or deliver any Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, (other than those listed as third-degree felony charges), is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

First-Degree Felony - possession with the intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture more than ten (10) grams of any Schedule I controlled substance, (other than those charged as a third-degree felony), is punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.


Penalties for Marijuana Distribution

The penalties for marijuana distribution increase in severity as the amount of marijuana possessed increases. Those penalties include:

Any amount of marijuana concentrate is classified as a Schedule I substances and is subject to felony consequences.

Under Florida law, distributing controlled substances to a child under 16 years of age can be charged as a first-degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison.


Enhanced Penalties for Distributing Drugs

Florida law increases sentences for habitual offenders and those who sell in prohibited areas. The distribution or sale on or within 1,000 feet of any of the following premises is subject to enhanced penalties under Florida Law:


Additional Resources

“Florida Laws & Penalties” for Drug Crimes - Visit the website of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to find more information on the penalties and fines associated with marijuana, paraphernalia, and drug crime possession charges. NORML is a non-profit organization with a mission to move public opinion toward legalizing responsible use of marijuana by adults.

Florida Standard Criminal Jury Instructions for Drug Crimes – Visit the Official Website for the Florida Supreme Court to find the standard criminal jury instructions for more information about what the prosecution has to prove for a possession with the intent to distribute conviction. 


Find an Attorney for Possession with the Intent to Sell in Escambia County, FL

If you were arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, then call an attorney who will fight for your rights. John Terrezza takes cases in Santa Rosa County in Milton, Escambia County in Pensacola, and federal drug cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

John Terrezza is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a history of zealously fighting for his clients charged with drug offenses in Florida.

John Terrezza’s office is located on West Gregory Street. in Downtown Pensacola, just minutes from the Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Act quickly to being your defense today. Call (850) 764-5291.

This page was last updated Monday, December 26, 2016.