POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
This post will answer the following questions on possession of a controlled substance:
What is the law on the possession of a controlled substance?
Section 34 of chapter 94C of the General Laws states: “No person knowingly or intentionally shall possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly [from] or pursuant to a valid prescription or order from, a [licensed] practitioner [who was] acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise [by law].”
In other words, the two following requirements need to be met to legally possess a controlled substance (ALL):
How can the defendant be proven guilty of this offense?
In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must prove the three following elements of the offense beyond reasonable doubt (ALL):
How does the Commonwealth prove a substance was possessed “knowingly or intentionally”?
The Commonwealth proves a substance was possessed knowingly or intentionally if the defendant possessed the substance consciously, voluntarily and purposely, and not because of ignorance, mistake or accident.
What is a legally acceptable certificate of analysis?
In Massachusetts, a properly executed certificate of analysis can come from any of the following sources (ONE OR MORE):
Jurors are not required to accept such evidence, but they may.
What is a certificate of analysis?
A certificate of analysis is an official certification that can be used as evidence of the chemical composition, purity, and weight of a tested substance.
What is constructive possession?
Constructive possession implies both of the following conditions (ALL):
Behavior tending to show that the defendant knew of the presence of drugs is not sufficient, by itself, to prove that he or she had the ability and intent to control the drugs.
What is joint possession?
To be a joint possessor, one must actively and personally participate in the procurement of the drugs.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.
Source: Instruction 7.820