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Understand Intent to Distribute Charges

In Tennessee, drug charges can come in many forms and it is important for people to understand the difference among these charges. One charge someone might face is the intent to distribute.

According to FindLaw, the intent to distribute means that a person was planning to sell drugs to others. This doesn't necessarily mean that a person has drugs in his or her possession, although this might be the case. Instead, people who plan to sell drugs might have emails or other forms of written communication from customers. They may also have the materials needed to package drugs and drug paraphernalia. In some situations, people charged with this offense might have a lot of money in cash. Law enforcement officials typically need to demonstrate that a person has the means to distribute drugs if they charge a person with the intent to distribute.

Some people may think that if law enforcement officials charge them with the intent to distribute, then they will face a drug possession charge as well. However, this is not always the case. This usually depends on whether a person actually has drugs in his or her possession. If people have both drugs and the means to distribute them, then law enforcement officials might charge them with possession with the intent to distribute. This is typically a separate charge from the intent to distribute.

In Tennessee, the intent to distribute drugs is usually a felony. FindLaw says that people may face numerous penalties for this offense. Some people may need to perform community service or go on probation, while others may pay a fine. Some people might spend time in prison. The amount of time a person spends in jail generally depends on the kind of drug he or she intended to distribute.