Illegal Possession Attorneys in St. Pete and Pinellas Park
Possession of Controlled Substances: Why a Strong Defense Matters
An arrest for possession of controlled substances is a scary experience. If convicted of the charges against you, your life may change forever. In addition to expensive fines and possible prison time, other consequences are damage to your career and relationships. If you are facing serious charges for possession of controlled substances, a strong defense is necessary to protect your future.
What Does the Possession of Controlled Substances Mean?
Possession of a controlled substance is either actual or constructive. If the charge is actual possession, it often means the arresting officer accuses you of having direct control over the substance. This typically means that the illegal substance is found on your body, such as in your hand or within close reach.
Constructive possession is much more difficult for the state to prove. In order to convict you, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Knew of the presence of the controlled substances
- Had dominion and control over the controlled substances
This type of possession is much harder to prove if the arrest occurs where there is a group of people, like that of a car or a room. Both actual and constructive possession carries serious penalties. Depending upon the circumstances of your arrest, you may face felony charges that can greatly impact your future.
Florida felonies are either first, second, or third degree. Each carries the possibility of serious prison time, costly fines, or both. Protecting your freedom, your financial future, and your reputation requires a strong criminal defense team.
What Does the Law Define as a Controlled Substance?
The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) categorizes controlled substances into different schedules. There are five schedules of controlled substances that are illegal if you do not have a prescription:
- Schedule I drugs:Any drug that has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use for treatment in the United States. Heroin and LSD are two examples of Schedule I drugs.
- Schedule II drugs:Drugs that may lead to severe psychological or psychological dependence. Examples include Methamphetamine or Oxycodone.
- Schedule III drugs:Drugs that may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples include anabolic steroids and codeine.
- Schedule IV drugs:Drugs that may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence. Examples include Xanax and Valium.
- Schedule V drugs:Drugs with the lowest potential for abuse, such as cough syrup with codeine.
This is where the circumstances of the incident become important. For example, if your doctor prescribed the controlled substance and you legally purchased it, your possession charge may be dropped. An experienced criminal defense attorney can present this information to the prosecutor and to the court in a way that makes your intent and innocence clear.
Securing legal representation is a smart idea, no matter what the circumstances. Your future is too important and the possibility of prison time too real to risk to chance.
How Oldham & Delcamp Can Help You
If you find yourself under arrest or detained for possession of illegal substances, do not give a statement without legal representation. Asking for a lawyer is your opportunity to protect yourself. While you may feel like you are helping law enforcement, you may just be making your situation worse.
An arrest for possession of controlled substances can happen for a variety of reasons. A night out with friends can lead to entrapment or an arrest for controlled substances that you had no idea was around you. If your friends were quick to point fingers and it led to your arrest, contact us for a free case evaluation today. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay. Whether it was a case of mistaken identity, the result of an illegal search, or some other circumstance, we can help. Our trial attorneys will work hard on your behalf to build the best defense possible.