What Happens If The Drugs Weren’t In Your Possession?
When charged with drug possession, police officers have generally found the drugs in question and have assumed they belong to you. This may seem like a slam dunk — how can you possibly argue that the drugs the police found weren’t yours? Depending on the evidence surrounding your case, you may be able to do just that. Here’s how.
Constructive Possession vs. Actual Possession
Two types of possession exist in criminal drug cases.
Actual possession is when police officers have found drugs in an area that you have exclusive control over. For example, in your pocket, your book bag, or your gym locker. For actual possession to exist, the drugs must have been found in an area that absolutely no one else could have access to. In cases like this, a more strategic defense may be to argue illegal search and seizure or an illegal stop versus attempting to argue that the drugs did not belong to you.
Constructive possession, on the other hand, is when police officers have found drugs in an area that multiple people have access to or control over, but they have assumed the drugs are yours. This leaves room to argue that the drugs were not, in fact, yours.
For example, if police found drugs in the glove compartment of the vehicle you were driving but also share with your spouse, or if they found drugs in a shared space in you and your roommate’s apartment, you may be able to argue that the drugs belonged to the other person who also had access to the space. This argument is even more effective when multiple people have access to space where the drugs were discovered.
For the State of Maryland to convict you of constructive possession, they must be able to prove that you had control over the drugs, that you knew the drugs were present, and that you knew the substance was in fact illegal. If the state is unable to prove any one of these elements, your defense becomes stronger.
Contact the Avid Law Firm, LLC Today for a Consultation
If you’ve been arrested for the possession of drugs in Maryland, it’s crucial that you protect your reputation and your record with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. When you consult with the Avid Law Firm, LLC, you can trust that your case is in capable hands. Call now for a consultation at (240) 561-7433.