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Mark I. Cohen, ESQ. NYC Criminal Attorney

What Is the Meaning of “Possession With Intent to Sell?”


New York highly condemns drug crimes. If you stand accused of any drug crime in New York, you should work with a qualified criminal defense attorney. The penalties associated with drug crimes are quite strict. One type of drug crime that can land you into a lot of trouble in New York is “drug possession with intent to sell.”

According to New York Penal Law Section 220.16, a person who possesses a controlled substance with the intention of selling the substance is guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Possession with the intent to sell is a class B felony. Such a crime is punishable by 1 to 9 years in jail. Repeat offenders risk spending up to 12 years in prison for possession with intent to sell.

It is vital to note that there is no specific amount or weight of controlled substances you need to possess for you to be found guilty of possession with intent to sell. This means you can be found guilty of possession with the intent to sell, even when you possess a small number of drugs, as long as the prosecution can show the court that you intended to sell the drugs.

Proving Possession With Intent To Sell

Usually, to prove possession with intent to sell in New York, the prosecution must prove the element of possession beyond a reasonable doubt. For the prosecution to prove possession, they don’t necessarily need to prove physical possession of drugs. Even when you don’t have drugs on you physically, you can still be charged with possession if the prosecution can prove constructive possession. This type of possession is whereby a person has drugs in an area such as their house or car. Nonetheless, to prove constructive possession, the prosecution must prove that you knew or should have known about the presence of the drugs.

On top of proving possession, the prosecution needs to prove the element of intent to sell for you to be considered guilty of possession with intent to sell. Often, the prosecution relies on circumstantial evidence to prove the element of intent to sell. For instance, in a case where a person possesses a large quantity of drugs that seems too much for individual use, they may be found guilty of possession with intent to sell. Small amounts of drugs can also lead to charges of possession with intent to sell if you are found with packaging materials or already packaged drugs.

It is crucial to note that, for you to be found guilty of possession with intent to use, the prosecution must prove both the elements of possession and intent to sell. Also, you can’t be charged with possession with intent to sell if you still haven’t acquired the drugs. However, you can be charged with conspiracy, which is another crime that bears severe consequences if you and another person or other people intended to purchase controlled substances and sell them.

Contact an NYC Narcotics Defense Attorney Today

If you stand accused of possession with intent to sell, you must work with a qualified defense attorney who can help protect your rights. Contact experienced NYC narcotics crime attorney Mark I. Cohen, Esq. at 212-732-0002 today to receive legal help.


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