An Overview of Common Strategies for Defending a Drug Possession Charge in Florida
Drug possession is a serious criminal charge It could be charged as a state level offense or even a felony offense. Depending on the alleged quantity and the specific controlled substance in question, drug possession may be a felony criminal offense. Of course, a charge is not the same thing as a conviction. You have the right to defend yourself against a drug possession charge. Here, our Orlando drug crime defense attorney discusses some of the most common strategies for defending a drug possession charge in Florida.
- Illegal Search (Assert Fourth Amendment Rights)
A fundamental right granted to Americans is the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement violates these rights when obtaining evidence—potentially including illegal drugs—that evidence may be ruled inadmissible in court. As an example, imagine that police searched your car or home without probable cause, without a valid search warrant, or without your permission. In this case, any drugs or contraband found during that search might be excluded.
- Deny Possession (No Knowledge or Control)
Another defense is to challenge the assertion of “possession.” In Florida, to be guilty of drug possession, one must knowingly have control over the illegal substance. If a person did not have knowledge of the drugs or did not have control over their presence, they might not be legally responsible. This defense is especially common in constructive possession cases. The Legal Information Institute explains that constructive possession is essentially non-physical possession. An example would be drugs being found in the glovebox of a person’s car.
- Lawful Possession (Prescription for Certain Controlled Substance)
Certain drugs are legal to possess in Florida if you have a valid prescription. If charged with possession of a controlled substance like painkillers, producing a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional can be an absolute defense. However, it is essential to note that the prescription must be current, and the amount of the drug in possession should reasonably match the prescription’s details.
- Plea Agreement (Alternative Sentencing Available in Some Cases)
In some drug possession cases, it is a more sensible defense strategy to focus on limiting the adverse consequences associated with a charge. In some circumstances—especially for first-time offenders or minor possession charges—the prosecution might be willing to offer a plea agreement that eliminates the risk of jail time and potentially even provides treatment. A plea agreement in a drug possession case should not be entered into lightly. Any proposed plea deal should be negotiated and reviewed by an experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer.
Contact Our Orlando Drug Possession Defense Lawyer Today
At Joshi Law Firm, PA, our Orlando criminal defense attorney represents people facing all types of drug possession charges, including federal offenses. If you or your family member is facing a drug possession charge, we are here to help. Give us a phone call now or contact us online to set up your fully private, no obligation initial case review. With a legal office in Orlando, we defend drug possession charges across Central Florida, including in Orange County and Osceola County.