In order for a Missouri prosecutor to build a strong drug possession case against an individual, they must be able to demonstrate that the individual's conduct met all of the required elements for the charge they are facing. As with other crimes, drug possession charges focus on the accused individuals' intentions to break the law and their actions that actually violate the law. Without evidence of intent or action, a person may be able to avoid conviction on their drug possession charge.
The intent element of a drug possession charge generally focuses on the individual's knowledge about the illegal substance they allegedly possess. The person must know that they have an illegal drug in their possession to satisfy this requirement. If a person believes that the substance they have is legal and not illicit, they may lack the required intent to be guilty of possessing an illegal drug.
The action element of a drug possession charge requires the accused individual to have the illegal substance under their control. This can mean that the illegal drugs are on their person or in a location that is under their control, such as their home or their vehicle. If it is determined that another person had control of the drugs at the time of the accused individual's arrest then they may not be found to have committed the crime of drug possession.
This post is a basic overview of two elements that can apply in drug possession cases. It is not legal advice and readers should not use it to build their own criminal defense strategies. Those strategies should be developed with the help of drug defense attorneys who are familiar with their clients' unique criminal cases. Initiating a defense could help a defendant reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.