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Elements of a drug possession charge

When faced with a criminal charge, you may feel that consequences are just around the corner. However, there are many aspects to a criminal case that could impact the outcomes. In fact, you may not even face consequences if the prosecution is not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the allegations. This information may help you feel more at ease as your case moves forward.

Though you certainly have the option of creating and presenting a criminal defense, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. If you have been charged with drug possession, you may want to understand the elements of the crime that the prosecution must prove in order for a potential guilty verdict to come about.

Elements of the crime

When it comes to drug possession, the prosecution must generally prove three elements relating to the alleged crime. Those elements include:

  • Illegal nature of the substance: In order for the charges to apply, evidence must exist that the substance of which you had possession was in fact an illegal controlled substance as stipulated under Florida state law. Usually this type of evidence includes results from tests conducted on the substance.
  • Your knowledge of the drug: The prosecution must also prove that you as the defendant knew or reasonably should have known about the presence of the substance and its illegal nature.
  • Your control of the drug: Prosecutors should also provide evidence that you had control over the substance, meaning you had direct input on the substance's location and its presence. This element is often more easily proved if the substance was discovered on your person.

Though the prosecution may have evidence that suggests that these elements were covered, your defense could work to negate any evidence provided. For instance, you may have an explanation as to why you did not know about the substance or did not know about its illegal nature.

Creating a defense

As mentioned, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when it comes to drug possession charges. However, creating a criminal defense will likely not hurt your chances of working toward the outcomes you desire, even if you believe there is not enough evidence to support the allegations. Information on your defense options could help you determine how you may like to move forward.

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