D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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What constitutes drug possession under Florida law?

There are a number of drug crimes people may face if they are found to have illicit substances within their control. For example, in Florida, a person may face manufacturing charges, distribution charges, or sales charges if he or she is found to have put illegal substances into other people's hands. However, one of the most common drug crimes that a person in the state can face is drug possession. This post will briefly explore the elements of a possession charge and some of the defenses that may exist to overcome it.

When pursuing a drug possession charge against an individual, a prosecutor must first show that the allegedly illegal substance in question was in fact illicit. It is often necessary for the prosecution to send samples of the allegedly illegal drugs to laboratories for analysis; reports that indicate a substance's illegality can be used to satisfy this requirement.

Next prosecutors must show that defendants facing drug possession charges knew or should have known that the illegal drugs were in their presence. Questions can arise with this element if a defendant carries a bag for another person without knowing the bag's contents or delivers a package without inquiring into what is inside.

Finally, for a drug possession charge to stick, a prosecutor must show that the individual charged had control over the drugs and therefore possessed them. As every drug possession case will differ based on the facts present at the time of the individual's arrest, it is important for individuals facing this crime to discuss their cases with their criminal defense attorneys.

When individuals are charged with drug possession, they can face significant penalties if they are convicted. However, they may be able to avail themselves of some of the defenses to the charges that exist. In some cases, individuals may have doctors' prescriptions for particular controlled substances, and in others, they may lack the requisite knowledge of the drugs' presence to comply with the elements of the charge. While this post should not be read as legal advice, readers may use it as a starting point to discuss their legal options with their criminal defense attorneys.

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D. Scott Rieth
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Bradenton, FL 34202

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