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Drug possession crimes can have serious consequences

All across the United States, drug crime has unfortunately become a big part of our society. Drug possession in particular seems to be one of the more common problems. Federal laws and Virginia state laws prohibit the willful possession of illegal controlled substances as well as the precursor chemicals used in the drug manufacturing process. Drug possession laws also prohibit the possession of paraphernalia such as syringes or crack pipes. The Federal Drug Paraphernalia Statute bases whether something is considered drug paraphernalia on primary use.

The drug charges faced will depend partially on the quantity of drugs possessed. A person in possession of a small quantity of drugs may be charged with "simple" possession. Possession of a large amount of drugs however, could lead a charge of presumed possession with intent to distribute.

Prosecutors are required to prove all the elements of possession beyond a reasonable doubt. In general, first, they must show that the defendant knew that the drug he possessed was a controlled substance. They will also need to prove that the defendant knowingly had control over the drug. Constructive possession, or having access to an illegal drug, may also qualify as having control.

For possession with intent to sell, prosecutors may show digital scales and other equipment, large quantities and large amount of cash to show the intent. Possession with intent to sell can result in much more serious penalties. All drug possession charges are serious but people facing these charges should not lose hope. Many people have successfully defended against these charges and gone on to lead normal lives.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview," Aug. 26, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview," Aug. 26, 2014

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