Federal and state drug possession laws make it a crime to willfully possess illegal controlled substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, "club drugs," and heroin. These laws also criminalize the possession of "precursor" chemicals used in drug cultivation and manufacturing, as well as certain accessories related to drug use.
Drug possession laws vary according to drug type, amount, and geographic area of the offense. Possession of small quantities may be deemed "simple" possession, while possession of large amounts may result in a charge of presumed "possession with intent to distribute."
The legal definition of Possession:
"Constructive possession" involves property which is not immediately held, but which one has the right to hold and the means to get (such as a key to a storeroom or safe deposit box).
"Criminal possession" is the holding of property which it is illegal to possess such as controlled narcotics, stolen goods or liquor by a juvenile. The old adage "possession is nine-tenths of the law" is a rule of force and not of law, since ownership requires the right to possess as well as actual or constructive possession.
A person can be charged with drug possession if the person exercised control over a controlled substance, knew of its presence, and knew of its nature as a controlled substance. The substance must also have been in an amount sufficient to be used as a controlled substance.
Consequences for the conviction of a drug possession charge may potentially include:
Defenses to drug charges may potentially include:
With Offices in Cedar City and St. George, Utah, the criminal defense attorneys of Douglas D. Terry & Associates investigate and defend against drug possession charges throughout southern Utah. Call (435) 628-4411 or contact us online today for a free consultation.
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