What is Drug Possession in South Florida? Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Explains

a womans hand holds a prescription medication while a lot of other drugs and substances are on the table below her hand. Drug possession can be a serious crime in South Florida if the drugs are not all prescribed or possessed legally. Drug Possession in Florida is a very serious drug crime.  In general, drug crimes in Florida involve any crime that uses, creates, or deals with narcotics or controlled substances. 

What is a Drug Possession Crime in Florida? 

Florida Drug possession crimes are offences when someone is found in possession of a controlled substance for personal use. Drug possession is the crime of having one or more illegal drugs in your possession, either for your own personal use, distribution, sale, or for others.

Depending on the drug and on the amount possessed, drug possession can easily be a serious felony in Florida. 

Listed below are some of the most common controlled substances that are often charged with possession:

Florida law defines possession of a controlled substance as the ability to exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the contraband or goods that have been illegally imported/exported. 


Under Florida law, a person is prohibited from being in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless the substance was lawfully and legally obtained from a practitioner who provided a valid prescription in good faith of their professional practice.


Actual Possession:

  • Many people associate possession as the definition of actual possession when actually there are different types of having ownership over something.
  • Actual possession is defined as having physical and direct contact or control of an object. 
  • Examples of actual possession include having a controlled substance in your hand or in your pocket. 

Constructive Possession:

  • Constructive possession is a lot more complicated because certain elements need to be proven prior to finding a defendant guilty of constructive possession. 
  • Constructive possession is defined as a defendant’s knowledge of the controlled substance and their ability to secure control over the item despite not being in close proximity.
  • Examples of constructive possession include storing a controlled substance in the trunk of your car or packaged narcotics in your bedside drawer. 

How do Florida State Prosecutors  Prove a Drug Possession Crime?

In order to prove possession, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • You were in possession of a controlled (illegal) drug
  • You knew, or should have known you had it and that it was illegal
  • You had control over the location and presence of the drug

Depending on the degree of the charges, the penalties for being caught in possession of illegal drugs in Florida can be very severe.

Learn about more Drug Possession Penalties in Florida


How We WIN Drug Possession Criminal Cases in South Florida: