ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (November 21, 2019) — A local teacher is now on paid leave from his post after deputies apprehended the man for driving under the influence along with possession of marijuana. The teacher made headlines in the Jacksonville area in 2018 after administering a quiz to his students at St. Augustine High, which many people found objectionable according to Action News Jacksonville. The criminal case filed against the teacher is still pending in court. Also, the human resources department will review the allegations of misconduct levied against him to determine whether he should be further sanctioned by the St. John’s County School District.

The report filed by Action News Jacksonville does not explain why deputies stopped the 50-year-old teacher or how they found nearly twenty grams of marijuana in his truck. Notwithstanding, a reporter acting on behalf of Action News Jacksonville approached the teacher at the teacher’s home and asked for commentary about the man’s arrest. The teacher appropriately replied that he had no comment. The reporter persisted and phrased his question slightly differently. The accused also declined to comment.

The article provided no information about the teacher’s next court date.

Possession of Drugs Charges in Florida

Possession of drugs is a crime that has received a substantial amount of attention recently. Many states have altered their punishment schemes to confirm with the latest philosophy that possession of drugs should be treated in line with a disease rather than a purely criminal matter. In other words, states have recognized that throwing people in jail for simple possession of drugs for personal use rather than distribution is not a punishment theory that works.

Possession is a legal term that is not well understood. Possession, in the eyes of the law, means either actual possession, meaning you have direct physical control over the item or constructive possession. Some judges use an analogy to describe the difference between the two. Judges might pick up a pencil and say that he or she has actual possession of the pencil because the judge knows the pencil is in his or her hand, he or she controls what is happening to the pencil, and the judge has the intention to control it.

Constructive possession is slightly different. Some judges might say that constructive possession means that the item in question, in most circumstances, judges are referring to drugs, is not within the person’s direct physical control. However, sometimes, it will illustrate the point by saying that he or she has constructive possession over his or her car keys even though the car keys are not with them at the moment. Instead, the car keys are in the judge’s chambers in a desk drawer. The judge says he or she has constructive possession of the keys because he or she knows the keys exist, knows the keys are in that location, and at some point, has the present intention to exercise “dominion and control” over them.

The question of actual versus constructive possession often arises when police confiscate drugs from a motor vehicle occupied by more than one person. Merely because one person in the car has drugs on him or her, that does not mean that all of the people in the car should be arrested for possession of drugs.