Alabama Drug Laws: “UPOCS”

Posted by Steve Eversole | Aug 27, 2007 | 0 Comments

Alabama Code § 13A-12-212. Unlawful possession or receipt of controlled substances.

"UPOCS" = Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of controlled substance if:

(1) Except as otherwise authorized, he possesses a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules I through V.

(2) He obtains by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by the alteration of a prescription or written order or by the concealment of a material fact or by the use of a false name or giving a false address, a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules I through V.

(b) Unlawful possession of a controlled substance is a Class C felony.

The State must prove all three following elements of the crime to sustain a conviction for unlawful possession:

  • Actual or potential physical control
  • Intention to exercise dominion
  • External manifestations of intent and control

Important points to remember

  • The quantity of drugs possessed is immaterial, and you can be found guilty for any amount you possess.
  • Possession can be demonstrated by either "actual," or by "constructive" possession.

Constructive possession is a legal fiction that assumes you own something if you where in the vicinity.  For instance, if you were riding in your car with your buddies, you were pulled over by the cops and searched. They find drugs in the console of the car between you and the passenger, and in easy reach of your two back seat passengers. Because you own the car, you will be "constructively" assumed to have possessed the drugs. I know, i know,  it makes me sick too.   

Shhhh…. A good attorney should have no problems getting you acquitted on the facts above. If he does, you went to the wrong guy.

About the Author

Steve Eversole

Admitted to practice in All State and Federal Courts in Alabama: AllAlabama State Courts, Alabama Supreme Court, Alabama Court of Appeals,Northern...


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