What The Government Has To Prove In A Drug Possession Case

When a drug possession lawyer first reviews the government's case against a client, they look for specific things the state has to prove to get a conviction. These issues are largely consistent across cases, even if the scenarios are quite different. Consequently, you should be able to get an idea of what your defense options are under drug possession law.


Yes, this may sound a tad simplistic. However, it's relevant to the whole thing. Likewise, there's often more to proving possession of drugs than just saying someone had them.

Typically, the prosecution has to prove that a defendant willingly had the drugs on their person or among their possessions. If there isn't evidence the person ever came into contact with the drugs, such as fingerprints on a baggie, it undermines the core possession allegation.


You'll note that it's not enough for drugs to be on or around a person. The prosecution also has to demonstrate that the defendant wanted to have drugs in their possession. If a friend left a joint in your car without your knowledge, for example, you could argue that it simply wasn't yours. You didn't know it was there, and you didn't will it to be there.

Similar issues sometimes appear in cases where the police can't determine who in a household possessed the drugs. For example, an adult might assert that the teenager in their house owned the materials. At the same time, the teenager might assert that the drugs belonged to the adult. It's the job of the prosecution to prove that one person clearly and willfully took possession of the drugs at some point.


Drugs are an everyday part of many people's lives, and most often they use those drugs legally. If you have a prescription for a narcotic, for example, that's not illicit usage under drug possession law. Your doctor affirmed that you have every right to consume the drugs for whatever medical reason.

Note that these sorts of defenses don't cross state lines. Someone with a medical marijuana prescription from Colorado would have a hard time avoiding a charge in a state where weed is still 100% illegal. Similarly, most cities' decriminalization efforts for things like hallucinogenic mushrooms won't carry weight in other parts of the same state.

That the Drugs Are Drugs

A drug possession lawyer will tell you to never admit that anything is a controlled substance. Why? The prosecution has to prove that a drug is what they say it is unless you confess. They will have to do lab testing, and your lawyer can try to question positive results.

Contact a local drug possession lawyer to learn more.