Possession of controlled substances is an offense that involves physical possession of illegal drugs. Most think of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine as illegal drugs, but certain prescription drugs can become illegal when they are obtained without a prescription. Possession may be constructive or actual, and prosecutors must show that the subject was aware of the substance and had an intent to control it.

Controlled Substance Possession Laws

Laws on controlled substance possession vary according to jurisdiction. The DEA has a list of substances that are organized into different schedules. Schedule I drugs are easily abused, addictive street drugs; while Schedule V drugs typically have a low potential for misuse. Federal law bars the possession of drugs from Schedules I-V without a prescription, but some states permit medical cannabis use. However, most areas follow federal guidelines.

Defenses to Controlled Substance Possession Charges

The best defense for a particular case depends on the jurisdiction, the validity of the prosecution’s case, the facts of the case, and mitigating evidence. However, the most common defenses include:

  *     Valid prescription: If a person is arrested for possession and they have a legitimate prescription, a drug defense lawyer in Gilbert, AZ, can use it to prove that possession was not illegal.

  *     No constructive possession: It can be difficult for prosecutors to prove constructive possession. Circumstantial evidence, such as mail or identification with another person’s name listed, can be sufficient for the law firm of Janet R. Feeley, L.L.C., to prove that the subject lacked the intent or ability to control the illicit drugs.

  *     No knowledge: It is possible for a person to be unaware of possession or that there are drugs nearby.

  *     Illicit search or seizure: Police may not have had consent or probable cause to search the subject or their premises, or to seize substances discovered in the course of the search.

Does a Defendant Need an Attorney to Defend Them Against Controlled Substance Possession Charges?

Controlled substance possession charges can bring a lengthy prison sentence, depending on the jurisdiction, the substance and the amount possessed. Visit the website to find out how a drug defense lawyer in Gilbert, AZ, can defend clients against charges by examining the case’s facts and forming a strategy to defeat the prosecution.

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