If a person is charged with intent to distribute or another similarly worded term for intent to sell in a drug crime charge, this is a serious allegation. Rather than being slapped with a charge for drug use, the prosecution is going to allege that a person was not only in possession, but looking to sell to others for profit.
The reason this can become serious quickly is because intent to sell can be charged as a federal crime. Depending on the evidence the prosecution may have in their possession, this could result in a felony conviction or a stint in a federal prison. If a person has been charged with possession, this is usually treated as a state-mandated crime and is not typically a felony unless the person is in possession of a certain amount or if prior convictions impact the current drug charge the person is facing.
After charges have been filed, California residents will know what they are facing in terms of the scope of their drug charge. Understanding the difference between these allegations can dictate what a person will do in response. As it unfolds, building a criminal defense is usually advisable. This can help prepare a defendant's evidence and story in response to the prosecution's drug allegations.
If you have questions about your drug charges, it's good to seek answers. Failure to do so could result in an unfavorable drug conviction, which could have potentially been avoided. Achieving an optimal result should be the goal when facing drug allegations. Getting answers to questions can help to achieve that goal.