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Drug Offenses, Drug Possession

Certain drugs and chemical substances are legally known as “controlled¬†substances.”
Florida Law focuses on the possession and not the ownership of drugs.

A conviction (Adjudication of Guilt) for a drug offense will result in a two year driver license suspension.
Other consequences for a drug conviction may include:
A potential three-year ban on public housing (for misdemeanor or felony conviction),
A lifetime ban on the right to possess a firearm for any felony conviction,
Ineligibility for financial aid,
Ineligibility for public employment without drug treatment program,
Ineligibility for certain permits, state licenses, or certifications; and
A temporary restriction to adopt a child or become a foster parent.

Possession of Drugs

To prove the crime of the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
The Defendant possessed a certain substance,
The substance was a controlled substance, and
The Defendant had knowledge of the presence of the substance.

To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of¬†ownership, management,
or control over the substance.

Possession may be “actual” or “constructive.”

Actual possession means:
a. The controlled substance is in the hand of or on the person, or
b. The controlled substance is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or
c. The controlled substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.

Mere proximity to a controlled substance is not necessarily sufficient to establish control over that controlled substance.

Constructive possession means the controlled substance is in a place which the Defendant has control, or in which the Defendant has concealed it.

In order to establish constructive possession of a controlled substance the State must prove the Defendant’s:
(1) control over the controlled substance, and
(2) knowledge that the controlled substance was within the Defendants presence.

Possession may be joint, that is, two or more persons may jointly possess an article, exercising control over it.
In that case, each of those persons is considered to be in possession of that article.

If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its may be inferred or assumed.
If a person does not have exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of it may not be inferred or assumed.

Lack of knowledge of the illicit nature of a controlled substance can be a defense.

Contact Christopher L. Rabby, P.A. at our¬†Pensacola, Florida law firm to speak with us today.¬† Freedom is your¬†priority ‚ÄĒ and ours.

Call us at 850-437-9410 or contact us online now!