3 Amazing Ways Normal People Get Arrested For Drug Possession

Average people assume they will never face drug charges. It's those guys caught in a back alley with a needle stuck in their arms or someone smuggling kilograms of narcotics across the border, who go to jail, right?

In reality, everyday people come in contact with law enforcement on suspicion of drug possession. Here are three ways that normal Americans may unwittingly be arrested for possessing controlled substances.

1. Prescription Error

Pharmacies make mistakes issuing drugs all the time. When this happens and the recipient goes home with a controlled substance, medical authorities who see the pickup in their computer databases call the police. Customers who accept prescription drugs without documented authorization can face felony possession counts.

Unfortunately, it takes time to clear up the matter. Law enforcement has to be sure that they follow set procedures. Meanwhile, the normally law-abiding citizen anxiously awaits their fate.  

There are horror stories of elderly patients having to accept plea bargains on misdemeanors to avoid lengthy trials.

2. Unclear Marijuana Laws

Some states and local municipalities have seen it to legalize small amounts of marijuana. Others have cleared its use for medical purposes. Patients can get a doctor's note stating they need the drug to help with a medical condition. The state then issues a license to smoke and cultivate certain amounts of the drug.

Regardless of what any state or local ordinance proclaims, the federal government, which is supreme under the law, regards marijuana as an illegal substance in any form or amount.

This discrepancy results in confusion among people who believe they have a right to smoke, possess, or grow marijuana. When arrested on federal charges, they realize then they are in real trouble.

3. Constructive Possession

Conventional wisdom is that the police cannot arrest a citizen without finding drugs on the person, in their home or in their car. People reasonably believe that the police have to find the drug somewhere under their control. That is not always the case.

Constructive possession means the drugs have likely been in a person's physical possession at some point. For example, during a traffic stop, an officer usually walks around the vicinity of the car. Maybe he or she sees a suspicious bag in the nearby woods, walks over and finds the now soon-to-be defendant's "stash." The fact that the substance was within throwing distance of the stopped car means a possible arrest and trial on construction possession charges.

Getting Help When Arrested on Drug Charges

Because of the complexity of American drug laws, it is imperative that anyone arrested seeks adequate counsel from a criminal defense attorney. Law firms such as Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices are helpful to prove your innocence, or prove that you have those prescriptions or drugs because another professional told you that they were necessary for your health. Contact such law firms to help you navigate pending trials.