Dealing with criminal charges puts anyone in a difficult spot. You may have felt as if you were doing fairly well in life only to end up on the radar of police for drug-related activity. Now, you worry about how the outcome of your case could affect your future.
Fortunately, you can take steps to lessen the chance of seriously negative consequences following you for the rest of your life. As with any criminal charge, you have the right to defend against drug possession allegations. When it comes to creating a meaningful defense presentation, you may want to start with understanding the exact charges brought against you.
Types of possession charges
In Illinois, state law details two specific crimes relating to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Those crimes are mere possession of the substance and possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver. Possession with intent can result in more serious penalties if the court convicts you of such a crime.
When could a conviction occur?
Of course, before a conviction can take place, the prosecution in your case would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. In efforts to reach this outcome, the prosecution will attempt to prove the following elements:
- The substance involved was a controlled substance.
- You, as the defendant, knowingly had the substance in your possession.
- You had immediate and exclusive control of the substance.
The prosecution may also try to convict you of more serious charges if they can prove that you had a significant amount of a controlled substance in your possession. The evidence would have to include the weight of the substance.
How can you defend against charges?
As mentioned, you have the ability to defend against any criminal charges brought against you. You may have reason to argue that you did not know that you had the substance in your possession or that you possessed it under duress. The exact strategies open to you will depend on the exact details of your case. Fortunately, you can work with a criminal defense attorney to assess your case and work toward finding the options that would help you work toward the most favorable outcomes for your case.
Though this type of situation can be nerve-wracking, you may want to remember that you are innocent until — and only if — a court convicts you of the charges.