Proving Possession in Richmond Drug Cases 

In a possession case, no matter what kind of drug offense it may be, the prosecution is tasked with proving possession in Richmond drug cases. It is by proving possession, that the prosecution can build a solid case against you. An accomplished drug lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to disprove the prosecution’s arguments and defend you.

Understanding Possession

The term possession means that a person possessed a drug. When the officers or the Commonwealth states that the person possessed marijuana, they possessed it, meaning that they had actual or constructive possession and that it is, in fact, the drug.

The prosecution is tasked withproving possession in Richmond drug cases, meaning they must show that an individual had the drug and they had it with knowledge and intent or, exercised dominion and control. There are two ways an individual can possess something. They can have actual possession and constructive possession.

Actual and Constructive Possession

Actual possession means that the person had the item on their actual person, e.g., in their pocket, in their hand, on a book bag, connected to their back, on a wallet chain; whatever the case may be, they actually had it on their person and they possessed it.

Constructive possession is when an item may not be on an individual’s person, may not even be near them, but it is in an area that they exercise dominion and control over, with knowledge and intent. For example, if a person has marijuana in their car or at home, but it is not on their person, that would be constructive possession.

What Do Knowledge and Intent Mean in the Context of Possession?

The term with knowledge means that the person knows where the drug is and knows that it is there. The term intent means that the person intended to possess it and exercised dominion and control over it. An example of actual possession is a person holding crack cocaine in their hand. An example of constructive possession is the person putting the crack cocaine under their car seat. That means that the person knows that the crack cocaine is there, and they intend to possess it.

Proving Possession With the Intent to Distribute

In cases of possession with intent to distribute the prosecution is tasked with the same thing which is, proving possession in Richmond drug cases. Then they have to determine and prove that the person is in possession of a specific kind of drug, no matter what they are (anything from Schedule I to Schedule VI and marijuana).

The prosecution must also prove that the person had knowledge and intent. Lastly, they must prove that the person intended to distribute it at the time of possession. That must be contemporaneous, which means that at the time of the arrest, the person possessed the item, had the intent to distribute it (whether that was to sell it or give it to a friend or whatever the case may be), and have to prove that the person intended to distribute it at the time that they possessed it. A skilled drug defense attorney’s job is to disprove all of that and build a solid counterargument. It is vital that those charged with drug offenses retain the services of a seasoned attorney that could build a defense for them.