Aggressive law enforcement officials do not usually hesitate to file multiple charges. Individuals may find themselves facing a range of offenses related to a single event involving an allegation of drug possession.
An individual may be in possession of drugs, but the evidence may be too weak to prove that he or she intended to sell or distribute them. A prosecutor’s strategy of compiling a stream of various charges, however, may help convince a jury of an intent to commit an unlawful act.
Law enforcement requires probable cause to arrest and charge an individual
To make an arrest without a warrant, an officer must have probable cause or enough evidence to prove someone broke the law. An officer on duty may visibly see a violation occur, such as a defendant exchanging a plastic bag for money.
Bystanders could also provide an officer with eyewitness accounts describing an unlawful activity. After gathering enough facts and evidence from several different witnesses, an officer may have enough probable cause to justify an arrest and multiple charges.
Witnesses allege a Florida resident engaged in a crime spree
A 23-year-old Florida resident allegedly carried out a crime spree that included breaking into an RV and kissing an elderly woman on the street. Within one hour, his alleged actions resulted in 19 separate charges and his arrest, as reported by WKMG News 6 and ClickOrlando.
The man’s actions may have resulted from the effects of a drug or mental illness. A prosecutor must, however, prove he acted with intent to traffic or distribute illicit substances to obtain a conviction of possession with intent to sell.
When deciding on a harsh punishment for multiple charges, a jury must find that each separate offense leaves no doubt regarding unlawful intent.