Can i rightfully be charged with possession of an unopened alcoholic beverage, with it being the drivers?

Friend of mine picked me up from work, on the way to my house we got stopped and my friends car was searched. They found his backpack with marijuana in it. and next to the bag was an unopened bottle of alcohol. I told the officers that it was indeed my friends and i take no ownership to anything in the vehicle. I received a paper, at the time i did not know it was a summons to court. The officer claimed i said the bottle was mine. He charged me with possession of an unopened bottle that i told him time and again wasn't mine, can they do this?

Greenwood, IN -

Attorney Answers (3)

Burton A. Padove

Burton A. Padove

Family Law Attorney - Hammond, IN
Answered

Sure, you can be charged under the circumstances. the officer claims that you said it was yours, you claim that it wasn't and that you did not say that it was. You can present evidence at a trial to counter the officer's version. You should consider hiring counsel since in all likelihood the officer has experience in the court room and you do not. Good luck.

Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana and is located in Highland, Indiana serving the... more
Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Criminal Defense Attorney - Chicago, IL
Answered

You are confused. "Ownership" has NOTHING to do with it. Legally, you "possess" something when it is in your your zone of control. Under your reasoning, most drug dealers would be immune from prosecution because they basically sell on consignment.

If your friend is willing to testify that he owned the drugs and the alcohol AND that you had no idea they even existed, the charges should be dismissed.

If your friend will not say this or the Prosecutor will not dismiss the charges, you MUST hire a defense attorney to keep this off of your record.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful"... more
Bradley Lynn Banks

Bradley Lynn Banks

Criminal Defense Attorney - Indianapolis, IN
Answered

What you have described is why we have trials. Hire a good defense attorney and see what strategy can be put in place to try and prevail in the case.

Answers provided here are for information purposes only and not intended to replace speaking with an attorney.... more

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