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What Is a Possession Charge?

Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a common weapons charge.
Individuals with a possession charge may be sentenced to jail time.
Illegal possession of a gun is classified as a weapons charge.
Drug possession is one of the most common types of possession charges.
Possession of heroin is a serious offense.
Embezzlement is one type of possession charge.
Article Details
  • Written By: Grayson Millar
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2014
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A possession charge is what is legally referred to as unlawful possession. Basically, unlawful possession equates to having something that it is illegal for a person to possess. The most common possession charges include drug possession, weapons possession, and possession of stolen goods, and there are various degrees of charges within each of these categories.

Drug possession is one of the most common types of possession charges, and the consequences of drug charges vary greatly across countries. In general, most countries distinguish between possession for personal use and possession with the intent to distribute. The distinction between these two types of possession charges, however, is often made based on the amount of drugs in question. For example, someone who holds a large quantity of drugs for personal use could possibly be convicted of drug trafficking.

The possession charge for holding drugs may also vary based on the type of drug it is applied to. For example, possession of marijuana is generally considered a lesser offense than possession of heroin, cocaine, and other narcotic drugs. These distinctions are particularly common in the United States, where in certain states marijuana possession is a petty offense while possession of other higher-grade drugs is charged as a felony.

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Another frequent type of possession charges are the variety of infractions classified as weapons charges. Similar to drug charges, weapons charges differ greatly in different parts of the world in terms of what types of weapons can be carried and concealed, and as to whether or not permits are required for certain weapons. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a common possession charge, regardless of nation or region. Guns are the weapons most often thought of in terms of weapons charges and legislation on gun ownership, concealment, registration, and type of gun are common, though, again, it differs greatly in various parts of the world.

Many varieties of theft are tried as a possession charge and, in fact, it is possible that someone caught in an attempt to steal may be arrested under a possession charge regardless of whether or not he or she was actually in possession of the goods he or she attempted to steal. An embezzlement charge is another type of larceny charge that covers the possession, or attempted possession, of money that one should not legally possess. Some countries enforce a minor in possession charge, which accounts for possession or consumption of alcohol by someone who is under the legal age to do so.

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Ruggercat68
Post 2

I remember there were times when the cops would find some marijuana or bags of coke on a car and try to figure out who was going to get charged with possession. It's usually the person who was sitting closest to the drugs at the time of the arrest, but that's not always easy to determine. I've seen police officers tell occupants that they would all get busted on drug possession charges unless one of them owned up to it.

Back in the day, some of my friends hoped they would only get a simple possession charges, because the next step up would have been possession with the intent to distribute. That's a much more serious situation, because the amount clearly exceeds "personal consumption".

RocketLanch8
Post 1

I was in a car with a guy I knew had a few bad habits, and he got pulled over for speeding. The cop knew him, so he got patted down for safety reasons. The cop found a baggie with about a quarter ounce of marijuana and a pipe in his shirt pocket. Because it was a small amount, he only got a simple possession charge and a warning for the pipe. The speeding ticket was actually the more important issue to the officer, since my friend was speeding in a crowded area.

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