The Essential Elements of a Drug Possession Charge

Police Officer Putting a Handcuffs on Criminal's Hands — Waukegan, IL — Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC

Acquainting yourself with how the law operates can significantly enhance your understanding and perception of the justice system. One such critical aspect is the complex framework of drug possession charges.

Understanding the aspects of a drug possession charge will not only offer insight but can also prepare you for any unforeseen situations bearing such implications. Let’s delve into the intricate components that comprise a drug possession charge that everyone should be aware of.


The prosecutors need to show that the defendant intentionally possessed the prohibited substance to prove a drug possession allegation. This necessitates that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed the drug, rather than having come into possession of it by error, accident, or ignorance.

The jury will examine the defendant’s statements and deeds, in addition to the context of the crime, to decide how much the defendant knew. This evidence may include the defendant’s actions leading up to the discovery of the drug. As a result, the mental condition of the accused plays a significant role in deciding whether or not the drug was possessed knowingly.

In addition, a person charged with drug possession need not have any prior legal expertise. The only requirement is that they be conscious that they had an illegal substance or a prohibited substance equivalent in their possession.


The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, who must show that the accused person had a controlled substance illegally. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew or should have known that the substance in his or her possession was illegal.

To establish illicit substance possession, prosecutors need physical proof, such as drug tests, that a suspect was in actual physical possession of a controlled substance. A controlled substance is one that meets the criteria set forth by law, which divides drugs into schedules according to their relative risk for abuse and approved medical application.

The prosecution may also introduce proof of the defendant’s connection to drug trafficking as evidence of control. Possession of distribution equipment like scales and baggies, or finding big amounts of the drug and currency in little denominations, are all examples of this.

The magnitude of the charge is also related to the amount of the substance involved. This is due to the fact that the greater the quantity of narcotics, the more severe the crime. A combination of pharmaceuticals and other fillers is nevertheless regarded to be drugs for purposes of estimating weight, which is required by the government to apply appropriate charges.


Control refers to the defendant’s immediate involvement and impact over the whereabouts and existence of an unlawful substance. Evidence of the defendant’s awareness of the substance’s existence, placement, and planned use is necessary for a conviction of drug possession. Lack of physical possession makes it more challenging to establish this aspect of control in court.

There are two types of drug possession charges: actual and constructive. When someone is in actual possession, they are physically in control of an illicit material and can get their hands on it at any time.

Constructive possession refers to the ability to obtain an illicit substance, regardless of whether or not the substance is actually in one’s physical possession. When deciding whether or not to press charges for constructive possession of drugs, the quality of the evidence is very important.

When an illicit substance is discovered in a public place like a car or a house, police enforcement must collect evidence to corroborate their suspicions about who is in control of the drugs. Proof of possession can be either direct or inferred from other circumstances.

Are you or a loved one facing a drug possession charge and need expert legal guidance? The professional team at Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, is ready to assist you. Contact us today if you need legal representation.

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