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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Drug Crimes / Constructive Possession Can Lead To Florida Drug Charges

Constructive Possession Can Lead To Florida Drug Charges

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In order to be convicted of drug possession in Florida, a state’s attorney must establish three criteria: that a defendant had control over the drugs, knew of their illicit nature, and knew where they were located. Most of the time, this is established if a person is found to have actual, physical possession of a controlled substance. However, there is another type of possession that counts legally; it is referred to as constructive possession, and it can just as easily result in jail time as if you were stopped with drugs on your person.

Different Methods To Establish Possession

As with actual possession, Florida law requires that the prosecution in a case involving constructive possession show the three required criteria – they just may have to do so in a different manner than one would if a person had drugs in their pocket or their bag. Mere proximity to drugs is not sufficient for a possession charge – dominion and control over the substance must be established.

The most common way this is established is by showing that a defendant has control over the location where the drugs were found – for example, if you are charged with drug possession due to illicit substances being found in your home or your vehicle, it is relatively easy for law enforcement to argue that you had them in your control and knew the substance was present, it fulfills two of the three required criteria for a drug conviction.

How To Defend Oneself?

If you have been charged with drug possession, it can feel frightening to know that you may face jail time – most possession charges are third-degree felonies under Florida law, which can carry anywhere from 1 to 5 years behind bars, depending on the specifics of your situation. However, it is important to remember that you have the ability to assert a defense, and doing so in a case that involves constructive possession is fairly straightforward; simply make it impossible to establish one or more of the relevant criteria.

For example, if you are able to produce a prescription for the controlled substance, then by definition the drugs are not ‘illicit’ – they were provided by a licensed medical practitioner, in the practice of their profession. Alternatively, if drugs are found in a home you can prove that you share with another person, it is not possible to prove that you had dominion and control over them – the other resident might have done the same.

Contact A West Palm Beach Drug Possession Attorney

If you have been charged with drug possession based on constructive possession, it is important that you enlist legal help as soon as possible to combat the charges. A West Palm Beach drug possession attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can make sure your rights are protected during the legal process. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.



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