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Possession of Controlled Substances

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Controlled substances are drugs, which are used for the diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans and animals and which must be obtained under a valid prescription from a licensed practitioner. Possession of controlled substances without a valid prescription is a criminal offense.

Controlled substances are categorized according to schedules and penalty groups. The schedules list a controlled substance according to its history for abuse, its potential for abuse, its pharmacological effect, its risk to the public health, and its potential to produce physical or psychological dependence. The penalty groups set forth the punishment for offenses that involve the scheduled substances.

Possession is defined as the care, custody, control, or management of a controlled substance. In order for a defendant to be convicted of the unlawful possession of a controlled substance, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew that the substance was a controlled substance and that the defendant knowingly exercised care, custody, control, or management over the substance. The length of time that the controlled substance was under the defendant’s control is not relevant. The defendant has the burden of proving that the substance was lawful or that he or she lawfully obtained the substance. A valid prescription is a defense to the crime of possession.

An indictment or an information charging a defendant with possession of a controlled substance must set forth the elements of the offense of possession and the name of the controlled substance. If the substance is not specifically listed under schedules or penalty groups, the indictment or the information must describe the substance and must state whether the substance is an adulterant or a dilutant of a controlled substance. An adulterant or a dilutant is any material that is used to increase the bulk or quantity of the controlled substance.

An indictment or an information charging a defendant with possession of marihuana must also state the amount of marihuana that is alleged to be possessed or a range with regard to the amount. The reason for this allegation is that most states have misdemeanor offenses for possession of smaller amounts of marihuana and the indictment or information must show whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony.

A defendant’s ingestion of a controlled substance may be used to prove possession of the controlled substance. The defendant’s sole access to the controlled substance may also be used to prove possession. The prosecution may also show joint possession of the controlled substance. However, the prosecution must prove that there was a link between the defendant and the controlled substance and not just that the defendant was present at a location where the controlled substance was found. Factors for the link include whether the controlled substance was visible, whether it was in an enclosed area, whether it was accessible to the defendant, and whether the defendant’s actions indicated possession on the part of the defendant.

When a controlled substance is found in a vehicle, a defendant’s possession of the controlled substance may be proved when the defendant admits ownership of the vehicle and when the defendant exercised control over the vehicle. When the defendant is not the owner of the vehicle, possession by the defendant depends upon whether the defendant was the driver or the passenger, the length of time that the defendant was in the vehicle, and where the controlled substance was found.

The prosecution must also prove in a case involving possession of a controlled substance that the substance was a dangerous drug or a controlled substance. Only expert witnesses are generally permitted to testify in this regard. However, in cases involving marihuana, a police officer may testify as to whether the substance was marihuana.

In marihuana cases, the prosecution must prove that the amount that was possessed was a usable quantity. In all other cases , the prosecution does not need to prove that the amount that was possessed was a usable quantity. Possession of only a trace of the controlled substance can result in a conviction.

The punishment for possession of a controlled substance depends upon the amount of the controlled substance and the penalty group in which the controlled substance is found. The amount of the controlled substance includes any adulterants or dilutants that are added to the controlled substance. Submission arrangements two hard copies of the dissertation, http://www.essayprofs.com written and bound in the approved manner, a copy on a cd-rom using ms word format, together with the turnitin report should be submitted to the school office in room mb

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