The Law in Plain English -
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Top Heroin Possession Defense Attorney Jason Cromey, Esq. on:
Possession of Heroin: F.S. 893.13
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Possession of Heroin - Heroine was unregulated and sold legally in the United States until 1920, when Congress enacted the Dangerous Drug Act. It goes without saying that it remains illegal in Florida to possess heroine, no matter how little. Section 893.13, Florida Statutes, makes possession of heroin a third-degree felony crime carrying a punishment of up to 5 years in state prison.
Under Florida law there are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means the person is aware of the presence of the substance and that it is either:
- in the hand of, or on the person;
- in a container in the hand of or on the person; or
- the substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.
Plainly put, it’s on you or it’s next to you, and you know it. The second type of possession is constructive possession. Constructive possession means that the person is aware of the presence of the substance, the substances is in a place over which the person has control, and the person has the ability to control the substance. An example of this would be having a container of GHB in your backpack, next to your driver’s license, in the trunk of your car.
There are many defenses to possession of heroin under Florida law. For example, if there are multiple people inside a car with a baggie of heroin in the armrest of a car, and nobody tells the cops who it belongs to, the State will be unable to prove who in the car it belonged to. An experienced criminal defense attorney is familiar with the defenses to this charge.
Even if you’re caught red handed with a baggie of heroin in your pocket, there are many other ways to try and keep your record clean. For example, the stop or search may have been illegal and the evidence can get thrown out. If you have little to no record you may be eligible for a diversion program that would result in the charges against you being thrown out. Long story short, if you are charged with possession of heroin you should contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney.