Possession of controlled substances, in criminal law, refers to marijuana, heroin, or any other regulated substance, and is a crime under federal as well as state laws. Drug possession crimes are some of the most common, making up a large percentage of the crimes charged in any given area. Many people mistakenly carry the view that possessing drugs is a minor offense, but really a conviction of possession can lead to serious consequences.
Possession of Controlled Substances Penalties
Possession of controlled substances charges carry various penalties, depending on the type of drug possessed, the quantity in a possession, and many other key factors like the variable of prior offenses. The punishments for a possession of a controlled substances crime could include imprisonment, large fines, probation, parole, as well as the potential loss of certain rights. To give you an idea of the terms of sentencing, typically, they can range from 0-5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of Controlled Substances Defense
To be successfully convicted of a possession of controlled substances crime, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you not only actually possessed the illegal drug, but that you were deliberate in such possession and knew that it was indeed an illegal controlled substance. Prosecutors, however, only have to show that the accused knew the drugs were present and intended to use or control them; which is fairly simple. To make matters more difficult, prosecutors do not need to have actual statements from the accused or evidence that the accused ever actually used the drugs.
There are many common defenses that can be successfully used to prevent a conviction of a possession of controlled substances charge. An effective place to start is by establishing the legality of the possession of the substance, then whether the initial law enforcement contact or traffic stop was warranted. From there, the attorney can challenge if the search of the defendant’s property was lawful or excessive, or if the search was given with invalid consent. The defense could argue to whether law enforcement even had the right in terms of a valid search warrant.
Possession of Controlled Substances Versus Distribution or Sale
Someone charged with possession of controlled substances might instead end up facing compound charges, or the more serious crime of possession with the intent to distribute. The court considers intent to distribute crimes, commonly referred to as “drug dealing” or sales, to be much more serious than simple possession, and are usually based on the quantity of drugs a person is found with, the drug's purity, or by other evidence showing the accused intended to sell them and not just use them.
Possession of Controlled Substances Defense Lawyer in Nebraska
To view a drug possession charge of any drug as “no big deal,” whether marijuana or cocaine, is wrong and even dangerous to your future. Though the potential penalties for simple possession of controlled substances may not be significant, anyone facing a possession charge should not rely on rumors or advice offered by friends or relatives. A qualified, experienced lawyer is the only one you should be talking to. Attorney Dan Stockmann, of Stockmann Law, has specialized in criminal defense for over 20 years, and has experience dealing with the local police, prosecutors, and court system. He can give you accurate advice about your possession case. Let attorney Dan Stockmann take over your case so the courts do not put you in a position of victimhood.