Scales of Justice

Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

It is a crime to knowingly possess, manufacture, and deliver controlled or counterfeit substances. Two distinct crimes are related to drug possession—simple possession, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

The prosecution in a drug possession case will need to firmly establish three points to obtain a conviction. The first is the identity of the drug in question, followed by the defendant's knowledge of the drug being possessed, and lastly that the substance was in their immediate and exclusive control.

Having control of certain drugs means exercising actual or "constructive" possession, which is when a person has present and physical control over a substance and does not require the touching or holding of the substance when law enforcement discover the drug. Examples of those having constructive possession include owners of a home, car, or apartment where drugs are found.

There are still multiple ways of defending those charged with drug possession. The simplest may be denying you had knowledge of the drug's existence or location, which would make constructive possession impossible to prove. Prescription medication can also easily be confused for illegal substances by those unfamiliar with them.

If you were possessing drugs because another person coerced you into doing so, by threat of force for example, you could be found not guilty of possession as well.

If law enforcement violated your rights in some way in discovering drugs or arresting you, your charges could be also be dropped. Police must have probable cause that drugs exist on the premises or have a valid warrant to search you and your home.

If you have been charged with drug possession, reach out to Mr. Wysocki right away.


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