Possession of a Controlled Substance
When a police officer charges you with possession of a drug, you may wonder what that means. It has all to do with what they may have found on your person and property, what kind of drug it was, how much it was, and what your intent may have been. However, just because they found a substance does not necessarily mean you are guilty. A good drug lawyer, like a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD, will stand behind “innocent until proven guilty” and will do his or her best to defend you and find evidence that could potentially get you a lesser sentence or no conviction at all. First, though, it is important to understand more information regarding possessing drugs and what kinds of consequences there may be.
What does it mean to possess a controlled substance?
There are many places where it is easy to get confused when it comes to controlled substances. For example, the Controlled Substances Act lists out different kinds of drugs and substances that, although all are not inherently illegal, can be illegal in certain circumstances. One example is medical marijuana. While you can legally have a certain amount of marijuana on your person in some states for medicinal uses, if you cross the state border and go into a state where medical marijuana is not legal, you could go to jail if charged with drug possession. Thus, it is not a crime just to possess one of these drugs, especially if a doctor has prescribed it to you. Possessing it without legal authorization is when things can become dangerous.
Types of Possession
There are a few different types of possession.
Knowing Possession: This occurs when you have actual control over the drug and know it is on your person. When you know where the drug is you can exercise control over it. Thus, if someone slips a drug into your bag or purse in a public area and you have no idea they have done so, a police officer would have a hard time proving you knowingly possessed the drug.
Constructive Possession: This type of possession means that the drug could be found in, on, or around you or your personal property. This does not mean that any illicit drugs that are nearby could put you at fault for constructive possession. You must know where they are and have the ability to control them in some way.
Shared Possession: Finally, even if you did not have full control over the substance but had some control over it, the prosecution may be able to prove shared possession. If you cohabitate with someone else and the drugs are found in a common area, it is possible to show that you are guilty of shared constructive possession of a drug.
If you want more information on what it means for a police officer to charge you with possession of a controlled substance, please contact a criminal defense attorney today.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into what possession of a controlled substance means.