Drug Possession in Florida
Under Florida law, you cannot possess certain drugs, or controlled substances, or certain chemical substances. In order to be found guilty of possessing a controlled substance in Florida, the prosecutor must be able to show that you had knowledge that the controlled substance was present and that you exercised control or ownership over the substance. What this means is that even if you do not actually own the drugs found on you or in your vicinity, as long as the prosecutor can prove that you had control over the drugs, you can be convicted of possessing a controlled substance.
But What Does It Mean to Exercise Control Over Drugs?
In order to prove that you exercised control over drugs or controlled substances, the prosecutor must be able to show that you had actual possession of the drugs or that you constructively possessed them. Actual possession means that you know or are aware that the drugs are present, and the drugs are either on your person, such as in your pocket, in a container in your hand or somewhere on your person, or that the drugs are so close to you and within your reach that they are considered under your control.
Constructive possession is different from actual possession in that while you are still aware that the drugs are present, the drugs are not on your person but in a place that you control, and that you have the actual ability to control the drugs. The simple fact that drugs are found close to you is not necessarily enough to prove that you had constructive possession of the drugs, especially if you are in a place that you do not control, such as a friend’s car. However, it is important to note that even if you are riding in a friend’s car, and the car is stopped by a police officer who proceeds to find drugs in the glove box of your friend’s car, under Florida law, both you and your friend may be charged with possession of controlled substances, even though the drugs were not in your pocket or hand. Fortunately, constructive possession cases are not easy to prove, compared to actual possession cases, particularly because the prosecutor must be able to show that you had knowledge that the drugs were in the glove box and had the ability to access the drugs. But if the prosecutor can prove that you had constructive possession of the drugs, then you can be found guilty of possessing controlled substances even though you never actually possessed the drugs.
Contact an Experienced Florida Drug Possession Attorney Today!
If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession, or possession of controlled substances, no matter whether that possession was actual or constructive, a drug possession charge is serious and should not be taken lightly. Penalties for any conviction involving drugs can include significant fines, jail time, probation, and even driver’s license suspensions. If you have been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, or any drug offense in Florida for that matter, it is important that you speak with a seasoned and experienced Florida Drug Possession Attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system can review your case, can advise you of your rights and responsibilities, and can help you determine the best strategy for fighting your drug possession charge. Call Beryl Thompson-McClary, J.D., today at 888-640-2999 for your free initial consultation and let a dedicated and experienced attorney help you in the fight to protect your legal rights.