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‚Äôs:
(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!