People in New York can often make the mistake of using illegal drugs as a form of recreation. This can lead to a variety of serious drug charges for the accused. However, just because someone has been accused of drug use, does not mean the individual will face drug charges. Instead, police must gather specific evidence of drug possession and prosecutors must be able to use this evidence to prove all the elements of this crime.
The specific criminal elements that must be met for drug possession charges vary at the state and federal levels. However, generally there are a few criminal elements that must be met.
One, prosecutors must be able to prove that a person knew the product was an illegal controlled substance. If a person did not know what they had or were transporting, then drug possession charges may not be possible.
Two, prosecutors must be able to prove that a person had possession or control over the drugs in question. This can include ‘constructive possession.’ This means that the suspect has control over a locale where drugs are found, even if they are not found directly on the individual.
With both these elements, prosecutors must prove that they are true beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the judge or jury must be convinced that both of these elements are true. If people can introduce some doubt about the truth of these claims, then they may not be convicted of the crime.
There are a number of effective criminal defense options available to people facing drug possession charges. People in these situations should understand what they are up against and how to combat police and prosecutors. An experienced New York criminal attorney may be able to give people guidance and help in these situations.