What is Possession of a Controlled Substance in Florida?

In Florida, possession of certain controlled substances (i.e. cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, alprazolam, etc.) is a third degree felony. In addition to fines, court costs, treatment, and other requirements, you can receive up to 5 years in state prison.


To prove the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The Defendant possessed a substance.

  2. The substance was a controlled substance (i.e. cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, alprazolam, etc.)


What does possession mean?

To prove the Defendant “possessed a substance,” the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant knew of the existence of the substance and intentionally exercised control over that substance.

Control can be exercised over a substance whether the substance is carried on a person, near a person, or in a completely separate location. Mere proximity to a substance does not establish that the person intentionally exercised control over the substance in the absence of additional evidence. Control can be established by proof that the Defendant had direct personal power to control the substance or the present ability to direct its control by another. 

If you are a loved one has been charged with this serious crime, please contact us today for a free consultation!