Possession of a Controlled Substance
Have you been arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Drugs) in the state of Florida? If you have, there are a few important things you need to know. When police find drugs in a particular location, they usually arrest everyone in close proximity to the drugs because they are not quite sure who was in possession. This seems unfair, and Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen G. Cobb can often get these types of cases dismissed from court.
The state attorney can only prove a possession charge in one of two ways: Actual Possession and Constructive Possession. To prove actual possession, the state attorney has to show that the controlled substance was found on your person. This means that if the marijuana was found in the pocket of your jeans, the state attorney would have very strong evidence of actual possession of a controlled substance. This is also true if you are found with a bag or container in your hand and that bag or container has a controlled substance.
A state attorney can only get a conviction for constructive possession, however, if she can show that the defendant (1) knows of the presence of the controlled substance; (2) knows of the illegal nature of the substance; and (3) has or shares control over the substance. This type of case is much more difficult for the state attorney to prove. This is especially true when more than one person is alleged to have control or dominion over the area where the substance is found. Even if there is joint control or dominion over the area where the substance is found, the state will have to provide independent proof that the defendant had knowledge that the substance was there. And even if the defendant knew of the existence of a substance, the state attorney still has to prove that the defendant knew of its illicit nature. Consider the following scenario: Marijuana is found in the center console of a vehicle in which you were a passenger. An experienced criminal defense attorney such as Stephen G. Cobb could argue that the state attorney will not be able to prove that you knew the marijuana was in the car, and because you didn’t own the car you did not exercise dominion or control over the location where the marijuana was found.
If you have been arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida, there is much at stake. A drug conviction can have implications for future employment and can even result in the suspension of your driver’s license. All possession cases are different so please contact Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen G. Cobb today for a confidential consultation about the specifics of your case. Mr. Cobb has handled many possession cases and takes a full-service approach to handling possession cases including attempting to get the charges dismissed to finding other options such as pre-trial diversion to keep you from getting a drug charge conviction.