Are you an Indiana resident facing a drug charge? Are you a visitor to the state charged with drug possession? In either case, you have the right to defend yourself in criminal court.
Prosecuting attorneys do not treat drug charges such as possession lightly. They will do everything possible to ensure you are punished to the fullest extent of the law. To do this, though, they first have to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt in court. How do they do this?
Elements of possession case
With every type of crime, there are certain elements that must exist in order to obtain a conviction. With possession cases these elements are:
- The accused knowingly had the drug in his or her possession
- The accused knew the drug was an illegal substance
Possession does not necessarily mean that police found drugs in your pocket or purse. Several people end up arrested and charged if they are in a house, car or other location wherein drugs are located simply because they technically had access to the drugs.
Types of possession
There are two types of possession charges: for personal use (simple possession) and with the intent to distribute. The latter is the more serious of the two. Consequences for possession with intent to distribute include imprisonment and hefty fines. It all depends on the type of drug found and the amount.
Simple possession typically occurs when police find individuals carrying just enough of an illegal substance for personal use. Consequences for this type of crime may include jail time and fines. Again, it all depends on the drug type and the amount found on your person, in your home, in your car or in your general vicinity.
Alternatives to incarceration
Believe it or not, yes, there are alternatives to incarceration. If charged with a first time simple possession charge, you may have the ability to move your case to drug court. This rehabilitation program is meant to get people the help they need and avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction. This is not available to everyone. Your legal counsel can provide more information about this alternative.
Fight the good fight
It is possible to fight against possession charges, even though it is not always simple to do so. Thankfully, this is something you do not have to do alone. With help, you can pursue a legal course of action that will best benefit your case.