Drug Possession with intent to distribute is treated as a serious offense in Massachusetts. If you are charged with this crime, hiring an experienced attorney is pivotal in defending your case. In order to be found guilty, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed drugs knowingly or intentionally AND intended to distribute them. For the purposes of finding a person guilty of this crime, it does not matter whether he or she intends to sell the drug or give it away. The meaning of distribution is satisfied when someone physically transfers the drug to another person.
These cases are highly fact dependent and usually rely on circumstantial evidence to prove that the person intended to distribute the drugs. Circumstantial evidence requires for the fact finder to draw an inference that connects to a conclusion of fact. For example, if someone has on his or her person a huge quantity of the drug an inference of intent to distribute is raised. A small amount of a drug found on a person does not support an inference that connects to intent to distribute. However, a small amount of a drug supports an inference that the person possessed it for personal use and had no intention to distribute it. What happens when someone claims that he had no idea of the actual amount of drug on his person? This will not matter as long as the person physically possessed the huge quantity of the drug then an inference of intent to distribute can be appropriately asserted.
Other evidence that can qualify as circumstantial evidence for purposes of proving intent to distribute are: (1) the nature of packaging; (2) the circumstances surrounding the seizure; (3) the value of the drug; (4) the large amount of money found on the person; (5) the person’s travel to known drug locations; (6) the drug-processing paraphernalia found on the person; & (7) the person’s involvement in known drug areas. Often these cases will involve a narcotic’s officer testimony to assert that the specified facts do support an inference of intent to distribute.