If you or a loved one has been accused of a drug crime in South Florida, you must speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Michael can help protect your rights and ensure that every possible measure is taken to fight the charge, which could be the difference between a dismissal and incarceration. Michael’s experience with drug crimes ranges simple misdemeanor possession of cannabis cases to complex felony possession with intent to sell cases.
Elements of Possession
For any possession of either a drug crime (cannabis, cocaine, etc.) or a controlled substance crime (Xanax, opioids, etc., without a prescription), the State must ALWAYS prove beyond a reasonable doubt two elements: (1) the Defendant possessed, either actually or constructively, the drug/controlled substance; and (2) the substance was the drug or controlled substance. Without the ability to prove these two elements, the State lacks the ability to prove virtually any drug crime.
The State can prove other elements in addition to these two that aggravate the charge. For instance, if a Defendant possesses five grams of cannabis, he or she would be charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis. Once, however, that weight increases to over 20 grams, and the State can prove this weight beyond a reasonable doubt, the charge becomes felony possession of cannabis, and the Defendant face more severe penalties. If the cannabis weighed more than 25, but less than 2,000, pounds (or consisted of more than 300 but less than 2,000 cannabis plants), then the possession would become a trafficking charge, and the defendant would face even harsher consequences.
One element the State often uses is adding “with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver” to the possession charge. This added element, however, often has nothing to do with selling, manufacturing or delivering the contraband, but rather involves the presence of a large amount of cash, packaging material, such as baggies, other drug paraphernalia or weapons near it.
We fight all drug charges with a multifaceted approach. We initially examine the legality of the police action that led to the discovery of the contraband. Often, this discovery occurred while violating the accused’s constitutional rights, which leads to us filing a Motion to Suppress. In the cases where it does not, we litigate the case and attack each element of the charge, typically starting with the “possession“ component. Often, the State cannot prove one of the requisite elements, leading to the granting of a Motion to Dismiss.
If you have been arrested for drug possession in South Florida, attorney Michael White can help. You may have numerous defenses to fight the charge and/or minimize the penalties. Contact him today for a free consultation