What is Drug Possession?
Drug Possession is the act of owning or holding of an illegal substance or unlawfully-obtained controlled substance on an individual’s person. Typically, the nature of a drug possession charge is not associated with the intent to sell, purchase, or distribute the drugs in question.
Criminal Law vs. Civil Law: Drug Possession Charges
Individuals arrested on charges stating alleged participation of the crime defined as Drug Possession should be made aware that in the event that an acquittal takes place within a criminal court, the case can be retried by the plaintiff in a civil court. Although civil law and criminal law with respect to Drug Possession allegations differ, the primary difference is the compensatory measures that present themselves in the event of a guilty verdict. While criminal law verdicts can impose penalties including punitive recourse and incarceration, guilty verdicts in the scope of civil law can only render financial and monetary restitution.
Drug Possession: Intent to Distribute vs. Possession
In the event that the amount of drugs discovered exceeds the parameters of ‘possession’, the individual is assumed to have the intent to sell or distribute the drugs in question due to the sheer volume in possession. However, an individual charged with a drug possession offense within an area in which a school or educational facility resides within three miles can undergo vastly increased penalties exceeding those latent in standard drug possession charges.
Drug Possession Associated Terms
The following terms are common with the mention of a Drug Possession charge:
a. Driving While Under the Influence (DUI): In the event that an individual is discovered to be driving under the influence of illegal drugs or unlawfully-possessed controlled substances, they can be subject to the following:
The loss of license
Mandatory drug treatment
Probation with court-ordered, random drug screening
b. Intent to Distribute: In the event that the amount of drugs discovered exceeds the parameters of ‘possession’, the individual is assumed to have the intent to sell or distribute the drugs in question due to the sheer volume in possession.
c. Controlled Substance: A drug or substance that is considered to be legal in the event that it is possessed by individuals legally prescribed or allowed its use. Controlled substances include pharmaceuticals, taxed items, and other items that require expressed, governmental permission for their possession and/or usage.
d. Illegal Drug: A drug or substance deemed illegal to possess or use by the officiating government.
Being Arrested for Drug Possession Charges
In the event that an individual is served the appropriate documentation placing them under arrest for the alleged charge of Drug Possession, they are encouraged to abide by all applicable protocol and procedure set forth by the arresting officer(s). Individuals accused of and subsequently arrested for Drug Possession charges are entitled the same rights expressed in the Constitution of the United States. These rights include:
The presumption of innocence until proven guilty notwithstanding a guilty plea
The adherence with basic human rights, preventing any undue stress, torment, torture, or harm being inflicted upon any suspect in police custody
The provision of an attorney in the event that the Drug Possession suspect in question cannot afford a legal representation
The right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination. This is expressed in the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights
The right to be brought to trial and appear before a jury of one’s peers in order to determine fault and liability in a Drug Possession case.
Drug Possession: Illegal vs. Permissible Possession
Unless expressly permitted by the Federal Government, the result of a medical prescription, or a medically sanctioned measure for the treatment of a disease, the possession of drugs or controlled substances is a crime. While some illegal and controlled substances are organic and natural in their purest state, other drugs are synthetic in nature and produced as a result of chemical processing and creation:
A controlled substance is a drug or substance that is considered to be legal in the event that it is possessed by individuals legally prescribed or allowed its use. Controlled substances include pharmaceuticals, taxed items, and other items that require expressed, governmental permission for their possession and/or usage.
An illegal drug is defined as a drug or substance deemed illegal to possess, use, sell, purchase, or manufacture by the officiating government of that country or nation.
Drug Possession Legal Assistance
The procedures and legislation implicit in the process of the investigation and lawsuit with regard to a Drug Possession charge can fluctuate on an individual, case-by-case basis. Elements examined in the determination of the validity and legality of a Drug Possession charge exist in conjunction with preexisting factors, which include the biographical information of the suspect, pertinent case details with regard to the victims, and the examination of any past criminal records and/or history belonging to a suspect charged with committing Drug Possession.
In the event that an individual experiences difficulties or failure to fully understand stipulations set forth in a subpoena to appear in court as a result of being charged with a Drug Possession offense, they are encouraged to consult with an attorney specializing in the field of Drug Possession, in additional to trial law, criminal law, drug laws, and defense.