Possession vs Possession With Intent to Sell 

By West Michigan Defense Team 
Man handcuffed for being in possession of drugs

A drug conviction can have devastating consequences, destroy your personal and professional life, and ruin your reputation, financial stability, and future opportunities. 

The West Michigan Defense Team is here to help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights. 

Let’s start by understanding the difference between possession and possession with intent to sell. Understanding this can totally shift the outcome of your case. 

Understanding Drug Charges in Michigan

In Michigan, as in many other jurisdictions, the difference between possession and possession with intent to sell is a critical legal distinction with varying consequences. 

Possession is when you have control or custody over a controlled substance. This can include having drugs on your person, in your vehicle, or in your home. In Michigan, possession of certain controlled substances is prohibited by law, and you could face criminal charges if they are found in your possession. 

Possession with intent to sell, also known as possession with intent to distribute, occurs when someone not only possesses a controlled substance but also has the intention to sell, distribute, or otherwise transfer it to others. 

Intent to sell can be inferred from various factors, such as the quantity of drugs in possession, the presence of drug-related materials commonly associated with distribution (e.g., scales, packaging materials), and evidence of prior drug sales or distribution activities. 

Potential Penalties

The penalties for possession and possession with intent to sell can differ, depending on factors such as the type and quantity of the drug involved, prior criminal history, and other aggravating circumstances.  

For simple possession charges, you’re looking at fines, probation, and mandatory drug treatment programs. However, possession with intent to sell carries much harsher penalties, including significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a permanent criminal record. 

You should also know that Michigan has mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses, which will increase the severity of potential penalties. 

When you consult with our attorneys, we explore the nuances of each charge so we can craft an effective defense strategy. 

Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go to Jail in Michigan?

As a first-time drug offender, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing programs such as drug courts or diversion programs.  

These alternative programs aim to address the root causes of drug-related issues and offer rehabilitation instead of strict punishment. Eligibility for such programs varies depending on the specifics of your case and the policies of the jurisdiction. 

You could, however, still end up in jail, especially for more serious drug offenses. The outcome of your case depends on various factors, including your criminal history, the nature of the offense, and the effectiveness of your legal representation. 

How to Beat a Possession Charge

Beating a possession charge requires a good lawyer. The West Michigan Defense Team will thoroughly review the details of your case, examining factors such as the circumstances of your arrest, the legality of the search and seizure, and the reliability of the evidence against you. This analysis allows us to identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and develop a tailored defense strategy. 

We may use strategies like challenging the legality of the search and seizure, disputing the ownership or knowledge of the drugs, or proving that the drugs were obtained through entrapment or coercion. 

As your legal representatives, we will leverage our knowledge of Michigan's criminal laws and, procedures to mount a strong defense on your behalf. This may also involve negotiating with prosecutors to secure a favorable plea deal. 

We will advocate for your rights throughout the legal process, ensuring that you receive fair treatment under the law and are given every opportunity to defend yourself. With our knowledge and advocacy, we’ve helped multiple Michigan defendants beat possession charges and avoid convictions. 

The Difference a Defense Attorney Can Make

A skilled defense attorney by your side can make a world of difference to your case. At the West Michigan Defense Team, we have a stellar record of success in and out of the courtroom. We investigate each thoroughly, challenge the prosecution's evidence, and advocate tirelessly on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome. 

When you work with the West Michigan Defense Team, you have the combined knowledge and experience of four skilled West Michigan criminal defense lawyers on your side. Each of, our attorneys is seasoned, trial-tested, and has established a reputation for success. Some are former prosecutors. Together, we contribute unique insights that come from fighting on both sides of the courtroom. 

We work as a team, which means you have more than 65 years of combined legal experience fighting for you. As most of our clients will testify, your chances of securing a favorable resolution and moving on with your lives go up when you partner with us. 

So if you're in trouble for drugs and live in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, or anywhere in western Michigan, you know what to do. 

Call (616) 456-5457 or complete our online form to schedule a no-obligation consultation with the West Michigan Defense Team. We’ll figure this out together!