What Is the Difference Between Drug Possession and Drug Distribution?

The difference between a drug possession charge and a drug distribution charge can directly influence your future. The circumstances around which you are arrested have an impact on your charges and penalties, which will range in severity based on your assumed intent and the amount of illegal substances on your person. This can include personal or recreational use with friends or dealing the drugs to strangers. No matter the situation, being caught with illegal substances is never good and puts you in a tricky spot that can be hard to get out of.

If you are currently facing drug charges, the best legal course of action is to contact your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can immediately begin to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest and work on developing your defense in order to get the least possible charge. 

Different Types of Drug Possession 

Drug possession is an umbrella term used when an individual is caught or arrested while in possession of an illegal drug. There are a variety of factors that make up the specific charge, including what state you are in and your assumed intention with the illegal substance. The different types of possession include the following: 

Actual Possession 

Actual possession is when you are caught in possession of an illegal substance. It is the lowest of the various drug charges and typically results in a misdemeanor charge. This is dependent on the type of substance and the amount you have on you. For example, marijuana charges are far less severe than a cocaine possession charge. However, if you are in possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, your charges will possibly increase. 

The specifics vary, and it is vital you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side with the knowledge to ensure you have been rightfully charged. 

Constructive Possession 

Even if you are not in direct possession of a drug, you can be charged with constructive possession. Also known as possession in law, constructive possession is defined by Florida law as when an individual has the following: 

  • The knowledge of presence of drugs
  • The knowledge the drugs are illegal 
  • Control of the drugs or where they are placed

If the officer charging you has reasonable doubt you are in possession of the three criteria, they can charge or arrest you for constructive possession. A common example of this could be if you are in the car with a group of people and illegal drugs are found in the glove box. There are many ways to fight a constructive possession charge, including your attorney casting doubt on your intentions or knowledge of the illegal substance. 

Intent to Distribute

If you are caught with a significant amount of any illegal drug, it is likely the arresting officer will assume you have the intent to distribute. Distribution charges will most likely result in felony charges and penalties, such as extended time in jail or prison and high fees. 

If the amount of illegal substance is small but you are in a sensitive location, it is immediately assumed you are looking to deal or sell. Sensitive locations can include being within 1,000 feet of schools or churches. Different distribution charges can include: 

  • Marijuana distribution
  • Cocaine distribution 
  • Heroin distribution
  • Methamphetamine distribution

Distribution charges are very serious and can result in up to 10 years of jail time. 

Speak With a Prestigious Criminal Defense Attorney Today

As a former criminal prosecutor, Fighter Law knows exactly what you are up against when it comes to your drug-related charges. Whether it is a simple possession charge or an intent to distribute charge, Fighter Law is fully equipped to fight for you. The collateral penalties and charges that can come with a drug conviction can feel overwhelming, so let our board-certified attorneys focus on building the best defense possible. 

We are prepared to take your case to court if need be as well. To begin the process today, give our office a call at (407) 344-4837 or fill out our online contact form. We fight because we care.


Call Now ButtonCall Now


Ask Us a Question!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.