It’s scary to face charges of possession of a controlled substance in Florida. It’s important to understand the laws surrounding this type of charge. A criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights, reputation, and record during this difficult time.

Proving Possession

As with any criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of proof. He or she must prove the following for you to be convicted:

  • That you knew the substance you were in possession of was a controlled substance against Florida’s laws
  • That you had possession or control over the substance in question

If, for example, your roommate hid cocaine in his bedroom, you may use the second element of proving possession to your advantage. E.g., you did not have possession or control over the substance because your roommate’s room is their own space. However, if your roommate hid cocaine in the kitchen, you may have a more difficult time proving you did not have possession or control over the substance, because it was in a shared common area of the dwelling. Even if you argue that you have no knowledge of the cocaine in the kitchen, the prosecution may argue that reasonably, you should have. Therefore, the charge may still stand.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

If you are in possession of drug paraphernalia, with or without a drug, you can be charged. What is considered paraphernalia in Florida depends on the primary use of the item. For example, a crack pipe’s primary purpose is for the consumption of a controlled substance, so it is considered paraphernalia. However, syringes might not be considered paraphernalia in cases where defendants are diabetic or use syringes for some other medical purpose, even if they also had possession of a controlled substance.

New Laws About Marijuana Possession

As of January 3rd, 2017, Florida residents will have access to medical marijuana prescribed by a licensed physician. However, laws regarding how much cannabis a patient may be in possession of and other details are not available yet.

To learn more about drug possession and how to fight the charges against you, contact our office for a consultation. We are able to provide a zealous defense and will work hard to protect your rights under the law. Call now at (850) 683-0700.