What is Possession of a Controlled Substance?
The federal government considers certain types of drugs and materials controlled substances. These are any items that the federal government has chosen to regulate the possession or use of. Possessing a controlled substance isn’t necessarily a crime. Many drugs that are listed as controlled substances can be legally obtained, possessed, and used if properly prescribed by a medical professional.
The federal government lists the various types of drugs that they consider to be “controlled,” that is, available (if at all) only through a valid prescription or other legitimate avenue. There are five “schedules” of drugs listed in the federal scheme, with the most dangerous substances in Schedule I, and the least in Schedule V.
Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a controlled substance is when you knowingly maintain possession of a controlled substance. While possession of a controlled substance can be legal, if you are in possession of an illicit drug, such as cocaine, heroin, and sometimes even marijuana, you could face felony drug possession charges.
Illegal possession of a controlled substance is when someone owns or possesses a drug or material that is considered a controlled substance without permission or justification. This may also include prescription drugs if the person carrying the drug does not have a proper prescription.
Depending on your state, the amount of the drug, and other circumstances, the illegal possession of a controlled substance can often lead to a felony. In some cases, such as with marijuana – when not prescribed by a medical professional – may only result in a misdemeanor, whereas most narcotics will result in a felony charge.
Proving Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance
In order for a prosecutor to convict someone of the illegal possession of a controlled substance there are a few elements that they must prove:
Knowledge of the Controlled Substance: The prosecutor must show proof that the defendant knew the materials were a controlled substance, that they were present, and that they intended to use or control them.
Possession of the Controlled Substance: The prosecutor must show that the defendant had control or possession of the materials. This could mean that they either had the items on their person or had control of access – such as having the items in a glove compartment in their vehicle.
Shared Possession of the Controlled Substance: In some cases a prosecutor can attempt to convict someone because of shared possession. This could happen if the prosecutor could prove that more than one individual had control of the controlled substance, such as roommates sharing an illicit drug.
Charges for possession of a controlled substance can vary by state. We discuss the possible charges in the state of Florida in this article (click here).
Get the Assistance You Need for Your Case in New Port Richey, Florida
If you’ve been charged with the possession of a controlled substance you should contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to help you put together the best defense strategy in order to give you the best chance possible to reduce your charges or have your case dismissed.