Today, we want to talk about a few elements of drug possession charges. Many think of these as "slam dunk" cases that inevitably lead to the accused being locked up. But that isn't the case.
The first element we want to talk about today is the case against an individual accused of drug possession. The prosecution has to establish two factors to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the individual possessed drugs that were classified as a controlled substance and that he or she knew that they had possession of the drug. If both of those requirements are not met, then the prosecution wouldn't have a case.
The second element is the two different categories of drug possession charges. One is just simple possession, which carries lesser penalties. Another type is possession with intent to distribute. This carries much stronger penalties that could change your life.
The third element to these cases is the ever-expanding number of other charges that can get wrapped up in a drug possession case. Conspiracy charges are often filed against people involved in drug rings; drug paraphernalia charges can be filed in lower level cases; and there are both state and federal laws to consider with any drug case.
In other words, there is a lot going on and a lot at stake with any drug case. Given the nature of these cases, it is imperative that the accused consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview," Accessed Jan. 24, 2017