Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

What does a prosecutor need to prove for a drug charge?

Drug possession laws in Florida are particular about which substances you can and cannot have, distribute or sell. If you're caught selling or distributing drugs that you have specifically for yourself, then you can be in serious trouble. For instance, if you receive a prescription drug, you can't give that prescription to someone else for his or her use. It has to be specifically prescribed to that person. Selling a prescription, like hydrocodone, for instance, is against the law. Opiates are easily abused, which is why they are restricted.

To establish a case against you for drug possession, the Florida state prosecutor will need to show that the substance you have is illegal or a controlled substance. Opiates and pain medications may also be limited by prescription access. Then, the prosecutor will need to show that you knew the illicit nature of the drug. He or she will also need to show that you knew the drug was in your possession.

Finally, the prosecutor will need to show that you had control over the presence of the drug and where it was. For instance, if drugs are found in a purse that was placed down in an airport, anyone could have placed them there. However, a drug container in a person's pocket was likely placed there by the person it was found on.

If you're accused of prescription drug violations, make sure you understand your rights. Your attorney may be able to give you a better idea of the possible outcomes for your case by looking at the specifics of your situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Drug Possession Laws," accessed June 29, 2016

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