The offense of drug possession encompasses two distinct types of crime, that of actual possession if illegal substances and that of constructive possesion. The former requires an accused party to have current control or physical possession of such a substance, such as on their person or even their hand.
The latter means that a defendant has the ability to imminently possess the illegal substance in question. This could take the form of someone riding in a car in which drugs were stored in the glove compartment which could be opened and accessed at any time. As such, there could be multiple accused parties in a constructive possession scenario.
It is also a crime for an individual to possess precursors of illegal substances, such as tools or chemicals used int he process of making illegal drugs. In addition, it is unlawful to have possession of paraphernalia such as drug use accessories, devices, or products aiding in the consumption of drugs. This category of items could include things like syringes, marijuana pipes, and more.
There are many reasons why an individual might possess illegal drugs. They may have an intent to engage in personal consumption, sales, or even large-scale trafficking. When someone has just a small amount of illegal drugs, they might be charged with “simple” possession. Those with larger quantities of drugs may receive a charge of possession with intent to distribute.
However, there may be situations in which someone who has been caught with even a small amount of illegal drugs could be face an intent to distribute charge. This could be when the amount of actual drugs present is small, but the suspect also possesses things commonly used in the sales or distribution of drugs, including plastic baggies, digital scales, and the like.
It is worth noting that illegal drugs are themselves divided into different classifications, each of which has its own range of potential penalties. Some jurisdictions categorize “simple” marijuana possession as a low-grade, or petty offense that brings far less onerous sanctions than controlled substance possession involving heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, or methamphetamines. These types of drugs almost always bring more severe penalties to those convicted of possession.
If you or someone close to you is facing a charge of criminal drug possession, the team of lawyers with Birrell Criminal Defense stands prepared to assist. We pledge to provide the aggressive advocacy you need at this most stressful time in your life and will fight hard to safeguard your rights and your future. There is no time to waste, so contact us today.