Florida Drug Possession: Actual vs. Constructive Possession

Actual & Construction Possession Lawyer in Panama City

Florida criminal case law creates two types of drug possession or possession of methamphetamine charges: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession of an illegal substance is just what the name implies; an illegal substance was found on a person during a search.

Constructive vs Actual Possession

In Florida, actual possession is defined as having physical possession of the substance with knowledge of such possession. To be convicted of actual possession of an illegal substance the State of Florida must show the individual had physical possession and knowledge of the possession. Constructive possession exists when an individual does not have actual physical possession of the illegal substance but rather the individual has knowledge of the illegal substance and has the ability to exercise dominion or control over the substance.

Many people believe that by simply not having an illegal substance on their person they can avoid prosecution. Florida case law creates another type of drug possession charge to deal with these instances, known as constructive possession.

Example of Constructive Possession 

The classic example of a constructive possession case in Florida is an illegal substance located in a console located between the two front seats of a car. Assuming the car has a driver and a passenger, both can be charged with constructive possession.

To be convicted of constructive possession of an illegal substance the State of Florida must show the individual exercised dominion and control over the substance had knowledge of the presence of the substance and had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance. In many instances, the State may have difficulty proving all the necessary elements of a constructive possession charge.

If you or a loved one has been charged with misdemeanor/felony drug crime I would encourage you to seek legal representation from William Dyer Attorney at Law. The specific facts and small details of each case are vital in formulating any potential defenses that may exist. Some charges that may increase your penalties include resisting arrest, weapon charges, and/or violation of parole.

If you have been charged with possession of an illegal substance in Florida, contact our experience firm today!