If a police officer catches a person carrying drugs on their person, or they find drugs in any area associated to a person then the individual linked to the drugs can get in serious trouble with the law. In many cases, individuals who are caught by police officers for possessing drugs do not actually own the drugs and they were just carrying them or storing them for a desperate friend. However, this is generally not taken into consideration by police officers as they need solid proof to determine that the drugs do not belong to the person who was found with them.

If a police officer finds a person with drugs and there is no one else in the vicinity who they can also link to those drugs then it is most likely that one person who will be arrested and charged, whether they were the real owners or not.

Will I get charged if I can prove the drugs did not belong to me?

In most drug possession cases, the prosecutor needs to be able to prove that the drugs were actually a personal possession of the person being charged. If a prosecutor cannot prove that a person had actual possession, then they need to at least be able to prove that the person had constructive possession of the drugs.

Let’s take a look at the difference between actual possession and constructive possession:

Actual possession: A person was found with drugs on their person, (such as in their jeans pocket) when the officer confronted them.

Constructive possession: A person was aware of the location of the drugs even if they were not directly carrying them, (the drugs were found in a person’s vehicle or car). In order for the prosecutor to prove constructive possession, they have to be able to prove that a person was aware that the substance was illegal and also that the owner had enough control of the residence to have the drug removed.

Anyone who is caught with drugs on their person or on their property-whether they are the owners or not- can face serious penalties. The severity of their legal punishment will depend on what class of drugs they were dealing with.

Drugs are classified as either Schedule I, II, III, IV  or V drugs, with Schedule I being the most deadly to schedule V being the most harmless. If a person is found with Schedule I drugs then they will be convicted of a first-degree Felony and will have to face up to 30 years in jail and $10,000 in fines.

What can a lawyer do for me?

Anyone who has been caught with drugs which they were holding for someone else should get in touch with a drug crime lawyer as soon as possible. Drug crime lawyers in Fort Lauderdale can aid a person in fighting their case through evidence and witnesses. With legal assistance, a person can have their penalty reduced or even have their name cleared depending on the specific situation of their case.