Constructive possession with regard to drug crimes

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2016 | Drug Crimes

There are a plethora of drug crimes that a Michigan resident could be charged. Whether it is simple possession, possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking, those accused of breaking drug laws can be up against aggressive prosecution and the potential for serious penalties should they be convicted. A conviction can lead to a lengthy prison sentence, massive fines and irreparable damage to one’s reputation. With so much on the line, those facing drug charges should carefully think about how best to defend themselves from the accusations.

To serve as an example, let us look at constructive possession. Under the law, an individual is guilty of a crime if he or she possesses an illegal drug. If the drug is in one’s pocket, then that is, of course, possession. But constructive possession broadens the law. It states that an individual possesses a drug even if a person does not have direct physical control of it.

In order for constructive possession to be proven, a prosecutor must show that the defendant had knowledge of the drugs’ whereabouts and had the ability to control it. For example, if drugs are found to be in the trunk of a car, then the owner of that vehicle may be found to have constructive possession if he or she know that the drugs where there.

Though constructive possession is a broad legal theory, it also has elements that are ripe for attack through a criminal defense. A defendant can challenge whether he or she had knowledge of the drugs’ presence, for example. He or she can also attempt to raise doubt as to whether or not he or she actually had control over it. To learn more about how to go about attacking a constructive possession claim, an accused individual may want to seek legal guidance about the criminal defense options available to them.

Source: Legal Information Institute, “Constructive Possession,” accessed on July 29, 2016



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