What does possession actually mean?

Merriam Webster defines “possession” as the “control or occupancy of property without regard to ownership” (source: http://mw1.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possession). In legal terms, possession in relation to drugs is a legal charge levied against an individual who is found with a statute defined amount of an illicit or controlled substance on their person or otherwise within their willful control. Prosecutors seeking to obtain a drug possession conviction must be able to prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed the drug, and also had knowledge that the drug was controlled or illegal.

Possession falls into two classifications. Normal possession involves the controlled or prohibited substance found on the person of the suspect or otherwise within their immediate, physical control. Constructive possession involves a substance
that is not physically held by the defendant, however the defendant possesses the means and the rights to readily access the substance. This might be the case if an amount of marijuana were discovered in the suspect’s apartment while they were not present, or if the suspect were in possession of a key to a locker that contained an illicit substance.

If you are found with 20 grams or less of marijuana in the state of Florida, you will be charged with first degree misdemeanor possession of marijuana. It does not matter if you claim the marijuana does not belong to you, or if the marijuana was found in your locker without your presence. If you intend to claim that the drug belongs to someone else, you will have to present your case during a courtroom trial and produce evidence to support your claims.

Posted in: Drug Crimes