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Is a Drug Possession Charge Possible if I am Guilty By Association? 

Posted on March 14th, 2020 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

In many states, it is possible for a person to be charged with drug possession even if they did not have the substance on them. Guilt by association is also known as “constructive possession.” When applicable, it allows the state to charge and prosecute a person for drug possession even though they did not physically possess the drug. If you or a loved one is accused of constructive drug possession, it is recommended that you call a drug crime lawyer, like a drug crime lawyer in Rockville, MD, as quickly as possible. 

Physical Drug Possession 

As a drug possession lawyer might explain to you, physical drug possession refers to a situation in which a person has actual drugs on their body. For example, if a person is arrested and searched and meth is found in their possession, they will likely face a drug possession charge. 

Constructive Drug Possession

Constructive drug possession may apply when the substance is not on the body of the person (such as in their pocket). For example, if the drugs are found underneath the couch that a person was sitting on during a legal search of their house, they might face constructive possession charges. The same may apply when drugs are found in a person’s car or in the same vicinity of them. To give this charge validity, it will be up to the prosecutor to prove that:

  • The defendant knew about the drugs
  • The defendant had the ability to control the drugs

In other words, the defendant was aware of the existence of the drugs and their potential incriminating nature. The element of control can be met if the defendant had control, or maintained dominion over the area where the drugs were located. For example, if 4 people shared a house and drugs were found in the bedroom of one of the roommates, the resident of the bedroom may be charged and not the other 3 roommates. However, if the drugs were found in an area that more than one person had access to, the prosecutor must be able to show that the defendant had a strong ability to gain possession of the drug at the time of the interference by police. Being close to a drug is generally not enough to prove constructive possession. 

Are You Facing a Constructive Possession Charge?

If you have been charged with something associated with guilt by association or constructive possession, you should not delay in calling a drug possession lawyer. A skilled attorney will be happy to review your case and explore your legal options. Once charged, the prosecutor will be trying to build a case against you. The longer you wait to contact a drug possession lawyer, the more you allow the prosecutor to get ahead. A guilty conviction can change your life, and if that is something you are not ready for, you should have one of the best drug possession lawyers on your side. 

 


 

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into whether you can be guilty by association with someone in a drug-related charge. 

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