Drug Possession Florida Jury Instruction

Drug Jury Instruction
Florida Drug Charge Defense Attorney provides the 2011 Standard Jury Instructions used in Drug Cases involving Florida Statutes § 893.13. These are the instructions that are read to the Jury just before they retire for their deliberations.

Drug Charges? Call Me Toll Free 1-877-793-9290 .

§ 893.13(6)(a), Fla. Stat.

Certain drugs and chemical substances are by law known as “controlled substances.” (Specific substance alleged) is a controlled substance.

To prove the crime of (crime charged), the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. (Defendant) possessed a certain substance.

2. The substance was (specific substance alleged).

3. (Defendant) had knowledge of the presence of the substance.

Definition.

Possession.

To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed.

Possession may be actual or constructive.

Actual possession means:

a. The controlled substance is in the hand of or on the person, or

b. The controlled substance is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

c. The controlled substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.

Give if applicable.

Mere proximity to a controlled substance is not sufficient to establish control over that controlled substance when it is not in a place over which the person has control.

Constructive possession means the controlled substance is in a place over which the (defendant) has control, or in which the (defendant) has concealed it.

In order to establish constructive possession of a controlled substance if the controlled substance is in a place over which the (defendant) does not have control, the State must prove the (defendant’s) (1) control over the controlled substance and (2) knowledge that the controlled substance was within the (defendant’s) presence.

Possession may be joint, that is, two or more persons may jointly possess an article, exercising control over it. In that case, each of those persons is considered to be in possession of that article.

If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.

If a person does not have exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may not be inferred or assumed.

Knowledge of the illicit nature of the controlled substance. Give if applicable. § F.S. 893.101(2) and (3), Fla. Stat.

Knowledge of the illicit nature of the controlled substance is not an element of the offense of (insert name of offense charged). Lack of knowledge of the illicit nature of a controlled substance is an affirmative defense. (Defendant) has raised this affirmative defense. However, you are permitted to presume that (defendant) was aware of the illicit nature of the controlled substance if you find that (defendant) was in actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance.

If from the evidence you are convinced that (defendant) knew of the illicit nature of the controlled substance, and all of the elements of the charge have been proved, you should find (defendant) guilty.

If you have a reasonable doubt on the question of whether (defendant) knew of the illicit nature of the controlled substance, you should find (defendant) not guilty.

Lesser Included Offenses

No lesser included offenses have been identified for this offense.

Comment

Note § 893.13(6)(b), Fla. Stat., if the charge involves possession or delivery without consideration of not more than 20 grams of cannabis.

This instruction was adopted in 1981 and amended in 1989 [543 So. 2d 1205], 1997 [697 So. 2d 84], and 2007 [969 So. 2d 245]. See also SC03-629 [869 So. 2d 1205 (Fla. 2004)].

Drug Charges? Call Me Toll Free 1-877-793-9290 .

Drug Possession Florida Standard Jury Instruction Florida Drug Charge Defense Attorney 


Source: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/instructions.shtml#