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Am I guilty of federal drug possession?

If federal authorities have charged you with drug possession, it means that they suspect that you were in willful possession of a controlled illegal substance like meth, pot, cocaine, LSD, heroin or another drug.

However, just because you're facing these charges does not mean that you'll be found guilty. Your guilt will depend on the quality of evidence federal prosecutors have gathered against you, and whether prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense.

Proving federal drug possession

To prove that you're guilty of drug possession, federal prosecutors must prove your level of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that if there's a reasonable chance you didn't commit the crime, the court must find you innocent.

Here are the two most important factors that must be true for a drug possession allegation to stick:

-- The prosecution must prove that you were aware that the substance you had in your possession was an illegal, controlled substance.

-- The prosecution must show that you were conscious of the fact that you had the drug in your possession.

In federal drug cases, the definition of "possession" is also relevant. "Constructive possession," for instance, refers to the ability of the defendant to gain access to an illegal drug that was not directly on one's body or in the vicinity. Imagine you had keys to a vehicle that contained a large quantity of marijuana. This would be an example of constructive possession, and it's sufficient to result in a conviction.

Defend yourself against federal drug possession crimes

A federal drug possession conviction could send you to jail for years. As such, defendants accused of the crime will want to formulate their criminal defense carefully. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance in defending you against your charges, and/or constructing a criminal defense strategy to seek a reduction in punishments if a conviction is likely to occur.

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Edward R. La Rue
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