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How is drug possession determined?


Over the last few years, throughout the United States, it appears that philosophies on recreational drugs and drug use had been going through a bit of a shift. Although, things have not yet changed in Pennsylvania, they may eventually change and it is important to be mindful of laws regarding drugs, drug use and drug possession.

Today though, both state and federal laws prohibit the possession of illegally controlled substances, precursor chemicals that are used in drug manufacturing and cultivation and often accessories used in drug manufacturing. There are two elements that must be proven by prosecutors in order for a suspect to be convicted of drug possession.

It must be proven that the possessor knew that the substance in question was a controlled substance, and they must know that they were in possession of the drug or drugs in question. It is important to understand that this includes not only a literal physical possession of the drug, but "constructive possession as well." This could include drugs that are in your home or in your car even though you were not physically carrying the drugs at the time.

There are two types of possession charges. Simple possession assumes that you have the drugs for your own personal recreational use. However, authorities may also suspect you had an attempt to distribute, depending on circumstances of the arrest. An intent to distribute charge comes with more severe penalties.

If you are facing drug possession charges, you should not take the charges lightly. A conviction could lead to fines, substantial time in prison and a criminal record that could affect your life for decades to come. You may want to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer to learn the best way to proceed.

Findlaw.com, "Drug Possession Overview," Accessed on July 19, 2017

Post Type: Q&A

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