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What are the elements of a drug possession charge?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Drug Charges

Facing criminal charges related to drugs can be an intimidating situation and a significant threat to one’s future. If under investigation for drug possession or already charged with this offense in Minnesota, it is prudent for one to seek understanding about what he or she is up against and how to prepare a defense. An important part of this is understanding the elements of a drug possession charge and what the prosecution has to prove. 

Actual or constructive possession 

There are two different types of drug possession, actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession requires a person to have physical possession of the drugs, while constructive possession does not. With constructive possession, a defendant would have access to drugs, such as those stored in a personal residence or in his or her vehicle. 

With constructive possession, the police may charge multiple people with possession, such as all occupants of a vehicle where drugs were found. Simple possession charges indicate that the drugs were for personal use, while a large amount of drugs found could lead to charges of possession with intent to distribute. Possession with intent to distribute carries heavier penalties than simple possession. 

An adequate defense 

Certain defense strategies apply to drug possession charges. An evaluation of the specific situation can help a Minnesota defendant know how he or she should confront the case brought by the prosecution. There are several valid approaches for a defense against drug possession charges, and the right one depends on specific factors such as the defendant’s criminal history and other details.  


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