How Is Drug Possession Defined?
Possession means “exercising control or having power of an item.” With possession, there is both knowledge and control. When you are charged with drug possession in Florida, it means you have both knowledge of the item in question and control over it.
What Types Of Drug Possession Are There?
When it comes to drug charges, there are three types of possession actual, constructive and joint.
With Actual Possession, the item is actually on you – in your hand or pocket, in a container that is either in your pocket or your hand or the item is within reach and under your control. For example, if a law enforcement officer stops you and searches your pockets or you have a small plastic container with drugs in your pocket, then you can be charged with possession of drugs.
Constructive Possession occurs when the illegal drug is found near you or in your vicinity and have where you have control over it. This could be his home, car, office, safe, locker or storage facility. For example, you have a safe at home and have hidden the drugs inside the safe. Only you know the password to the safe. This means you have both knowledge and control over the item in the safe. In court, in order to prove constructive possession, the state has to prove that you have control over the item and that you knew the item was there. This can be difficult if the safe in your home is used by many other individuals and all of them have the password to open it. In order for the courts in Florida to prove constructive possession of a drug, the courts need to prove much more than just proximity to the drug. For example, if you are in a car with a friend and the officer finds drugs in the glove compartment, you may be in the vicinity of the drugs but that does not automatically mean that you are in actual possession of the drug. You may have had no idea that the drugs were present in the drug compartment. The job of the State is to prove that the drugs in the glove compartment have some type of link to you.
Joint Possession of an item is when two or more individuals have control over the same item. For example, you are in a car and the officer discovers drugs in center console.
What Are The Difficulties For Drug Prosecution In Court?
When you are charged with drug possession, the state has the burden of proving that you not only had the knowledge and were aware of the presence of the item, but that you also exercised control over it.
When it comes to proving joint possession, again the court is faced with difficulties in proving possession by one or both defendants. With joint possession, there is usually more than one person charged with possession of the same item. In such scenarios, there is always a conflict of interest among the co-defendants.
How Can A Drug Crimes Attorney Help?
If you have been arrested and charged with drug possession, it is important to seek legal council right away, so your defense attorney can get to work building a defense for your case. Frost Law represents clients facing all types of felonies and misdemeanors including drug possession, drug trafficking, sale or delivery of a controlled substance and more. Get help from an experienced trial attorney and former state prosecutor. Call (407) 670-5569 for a free consultation and case review today.