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

What does the prosecution have to prove in a drug crime case?

Possessing drugs can get you in trouble with the law depending on the drug you have and if you have a prescription or if it is illegal. Drug possession is an offense in every state, and the possession of most controlled substances, except for medical marijuana, can land you in deep trouble with the law in Florida. Florida also added bath salts and spice to the list of banned substances in 2016.

What happens if you're caught with drugs?

For any simple possession of cannabis, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If you intend to sell the drugs, the potential penalties rise significantly.

What does the prosecution have to prove in court?

In court, the prosecution will have to show that the controlled substance you had in your possession was illegal. To prove this, a crime lab typically analyzes the drugs that were found. Next, the prosecution has to show that you had knowledge of the drug being in your possession and that you knew the illicit nature of the drug.

Finally, it must be proven that you had control over where the drug was. For example, if the drugs were found under the passenger seat in your vehicle, you may be able to defend yourself by saying that a friend riding in your car had the drugs in his possession. If the drugs were found in your pocket, it would be more difficult to prove that you did not know they were there.

Your attorney can help you build a defense against charges of drug possession or the intent to sell. In all cases, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. If he or she cannot, then you will not be found guilty.

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

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