If you’ve been charged with drug possession in Florida you must take the charges seriously. There are two types of possession – actual and constructive. Actual possession means that drugs or other contraband were found on your person. Constructive possession is when the drugs were located in a common area rather than on an individual. This is often charged when illegal substances are found in a vehicle. If there are several passengers in the vehicle, all of them may be charged with possession.

Drug Possession Charges

The charges and potential penalties for drug possession depend on the type and amount of substance that is found. Small amounts of drugs are considered to be for personal use. When a larger amount of drugs is found it may increase the charges from possession to distribution. Penalties for distribution are much harsher than those for possession. When charged with possession you may find several charges apply – for example, if a pipe or device was found it will create a separate charge for drug paraphernalia.

How the Charges Are Proven

Many people deny knowing anything about the drugs since they were found in a location that cannot be proven. However, there are several important things that must be proven in the case in order to find you guilty of possession.

  • The drugs must have been within your control and area
  • You knew of the drugs existed
  • You knew the drugs were illegal

All three of these items must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be found guilty of drug possession. Many times the prosecution may not have solid evidence of each of these things and therefore may not be able to successfully prosecute. If the evidence is not strong your attorney may be able to get the charges lowered or dropped or may work to get a plea deal.

Getting Constructive Possession Charges Dismissed

Dismissal of such charges may be difficult but will depend on the individual factors in your specific case. A sworn motion to dismiss may apply to the fact that the drugs were found in an area that was not under your direct control. More often, the other items are difficult to dismiss and may be left up to a judge or jury to decide. If you have been charged or arrested for drug possession it’s best to talk to an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will review your entire case and determine the best way to proceed.