What Is A Drug Possession Charge?
Is it possible that you could be charged with drug possession? Well, that depends on if you actually have drugs on you or have access to them. There are federal and state laws that differ on what it means to have possession of a drug and the penalties you could face also differ depending on your intent with the drugs or how much you have with you and also the type of drug you have.
How Do They Prove Drug Possession?
In order to be charged and tried for drug possession, the law requires certain items to be met. The laws can vary between the states but generally there are elements of the laws are the same right across the country.
One of these elements is, like with any crime, a prosecutor must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you knew that the drug you had on you was considered a controlled substance. It also must be proven that you knew that drug was in your car, in a purse or bag or somehow on you at the time of arrest.
There is also something that is known as 'constructive possession'. This is that you had access to an illegal substance even if it wasn't on you at the time you were arrested. This law covers if you own a car or had possession of a car or other vehicle that had drugs inside it. Unless another occupant claims responsibility for the drug and said you had no knowledge that it was there, you will be charged with possession of the drug.
Severity of the Crime
There are categories for drug possession and within those categories are levels of severity of punishment for each category. For example, simple possession charges usually talks about personal use laws. This means any drug you have in your possession for your own use and this does include anything from marijuana to heroin. You can get lighter sentences, or maybe just probation and a fine if you have small amounts of these drugs when you are arrested.
Intent to Distribute is a more severe crime and carries tougher sentences. This crime means you meant to sell or otherwise distribute the drugs in your possession to dealers or other people. In order to prove intent to distribute, the prosecutor must present evidence to the court such as digital scales for measuring the drug, baggies, large amounts of the drug in question, a lot of money on you and in some cases, witness testimony. Contact a law firm, like Cheryl Brown Attorney at Law, for more help.