“The police charged me with possession with intent to distribute drugs, but I had them for my own use.”  Defendants frequently recite a similar theme after they have been arrested.  The differences between the two categories of crime can be huge and have lasting affect.

With the exception of possession with intent to distribute Class D (often marijuana) and Class E, all other Classes are felony offenses in Massachusetts.  On the other hand, simple possessory offenses are misdemeanors.  Obtaining employment, housing or securing student loans can be significantly more difficult with a felony conviction.

Additionally, possession with intent to distribute crimes may carry sentencing enhancements.  For example, of the offense occurs within 300 feet of a school or 100 feet of a public park, mandatory jail sentences are imposed.  Conversely, a person convicted of a simple possessory offense will not face the same sentencing enhancements.

Also, if you have a prior conviction for possession with intent to distribute narcotics, you can be charged as a subsequent offender.  Most subsequent offenses require grand jury indictments.  Should you be indicted on a subsequent offense for possession with intent to distribute, you face a mandatory minimum state prison sentence if convicted.

The government uses various arguments when attempting to prove ‘an intent to distribute.’  Often, the government will call so-called ‘police experts’ to testify at trial.  These witnesses will focus on factors such as the quantity of drugs present, the way the narcotics are packaged, the presence of paraphernalia that would suggest intent to see or distribute.  All these methods will be argued to distinguish your case from a simple possessory drug crime.


Boston, MA Drug Defense Attorney Jeff Miller has represented Massachusetts residents charged with possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs.  Attorney Jeff Miller has been successful in defending possession with intent to distribute charges in the Boston Municipal Court, District Courts of the Commonwealth and Superior Court.  CLICK HERE to read about drug cases where Massachusetts Drug Defense Attorney Jeff Miller has successfully defended his client.  If you have been charged with a violating Massachusetts Drug Laws, call Attorney Jeff Miller at 617-482-5799 to schedule an appointment.