Drug Crimes

Understanding Constructive Possession of Drugs

Gregory Salnick
August 31, 2021

Drug possession is a serious offense in Florida, and if you are arrested, the consequences can be devastating.

What Does Constructive Possession Of Drugs Mean?

Drug possession is a serious offense in Florida, and if you are arrested, the consequences can be devastating. One of the most critical questions that prosecutors of drug possession cases may have to answer is whether the suspect was in physical or constructive possession of the drugs.

Simple vs Constructive Drug Possession

You will be charged with simple possession of drugs if you are in actual physical possession and have control over the drugs. On the other hand, a person will be charged with constructive drug possession even when they do not have drugs, but it is ascertained that they knew about drugs’ existence within their vicinity.

However, drugs being found near you may not be enough to make you criminally liable for possession. The prosecution needs to determine the following:

  1. Exclusive occupation of a location—if you are a homeowner or driver of a vehicle in which drugs have been found, it can be enough proof of your knowledge and control over the drugs.
  2. Non-exclusive occupation of a location—if you are not the only occupant of a place, proving possession of a drug is complicated because proximity alone isn't enough evidence. There ought to be other incriminating facts before proving that you were aware of the illicit substance.

Factors that Can Make You Liable for Constructive Drug Possession

Despite the drugs not being in your physical possession, some factors can persuade the court to hold you culpable for constructive possession. These include:

  • If the drugs were in open view.
  • If the drugs were found in your immediate proximity.
  • If the drugs were found in your bedroom.
  • If you appear nervous or suspicious during arrest, the officer may use their discretion to investigate.
  • Having drug paraphernalia.
  • Owning the location where the drugs were found.

Penalties for Constructive Possession

The severity of the penalty for constructive possession of drugs will depend on the type of drug and the criminal history of the charged person. The sentences come in numerous forms, such as fines, incarceration, probation, and rehabilitation.

Need an Experienced West Palm Beach Drug Attorney? Give us a Call Today!

Drug-related cases are complex to deal with, and they can have severe consequences if not handled carefully. At The Law Offices of Salnick & Fuchs, our attorneys have experience handling cases associated with constructive possession of illicit substances. Please contact us online now or give us a call at 561-471-1000 to schedule a consultation.

Gregory Salnick

Mr. Salnick is a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He began his legal career at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted over 90 jury trials, ranging from DUI to murder, armed robbery and drug trafficking. Mr. Salnick quickly gained a reputation as a tenacious and ethical attorney at law. Mr. Salnick now serves as state and federal criminal defense attorney at Salnick & Fuchs, P. A.

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