Elements of Instructions on Trafficking Offences As Regards the Defendant's Knowledge
In State v. Dominguez, 509 So. 2d 917 (Fla. 1987), the Supreme Court of Florida addressed whether the jury instructions on trafficking offenses were erroneous because they did not include knowledge of the nature of the substance as an element.
The Court found, under the relevant statutes at the time, that mens rea was an element of all trafficking charges. Id. at 918.
The Court then expressly amended all jury instructions on trafficking offenses to include a fourth element: that the defendant "knew the substance was (specific substance alleged)." Id. at 918.
The Court did not address, however, whether the same applied to possession offenses.