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I am charged with possession of methamphetamine. Though it was not mine, I do have a good idea of how & when it got in my car.

San Jose, CA |

Six weeks prior my arrest, me and 4 of my friends went out clubbing. I know two out of the four still use drugs. The other two, like myself have used in the past but its no longer our thing. So six weeks go by and I get pulled over. When the cop asked me if he could search the car, I know I should of said no, but since I dont normally carry drugs and guns I agreed. I got nothing to hide. My "buddies" did though. In my opinion he didnt like me and was harassing me. Just tore up my car. The trunk etc... I knew it was minimal due to it being in a small paper fold. Barely enough to do test. The other cop said they might just dismiss being small amount. Controlled substance is a felony. Icharged as msdmnr. How come? What are my odds of telling the truth and verdict of not guilty?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Possession of meth in California is a "wobbler," meaning it can wobble between being charged as a felony or a misdemeanor within the discretion of the DA.

    Your chances at trial? Based only on what you've written, why not go to trial? You will possibly be offered a drug treatment program or something similar by the DA by way of settlement. But if you don't have a drug problem, a program would do you no good.

    Here is how the jury would be instructed on the crime of possession of meth:

    "To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
    1. The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance;
    2. The defendant knew of its presence;
    3. The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as a controlled substance;
    4. The controlled substance was methamphetamine;
    5. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.
    A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as a controlled substance. Useless traces [or debris] are not usable amounts. On the other hand, a usable amount does not have to be enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the user."

    If you did not know of its presence in your car, the DA cannot prove that you are guilty of possession of meth beyond a reasonable doubt.

  2. Unfortunately this will not go away on its own. You will need an attorney and most likely have to go to trial as every DA has heard the it is not my meth a thousand times.
    Robert Driessen

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at

  3. Generally the prosecutor must show that you had knowledge of the contraband to prove that you were in possession of the contraband. One way to get around this, is to have your body testified that it was his drugs and that you had no knowledge of the drugs in your car. Of course this would open him up to being prosecuted. Another option, would be to go to trial and explain to a jury that there were people in your car and they placed drugs in your vehicle without your knowledge. You would have to show the drugs were somewhere in your car where they were not in plain view. You need to discuss your options with an experienced criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction to get a better read on your chances of obtaining a not guilty verdict.

  4. Consult with a competent criminal defense attorney in your area for advice. Will your "buddies" give you a statement or speak with your attorney and accept responsibility (no); will you subpoena them to a trial and what will they say other oath ( not mine, I don't know); my criminal defense practice has taught me that the "truth" does not always come out at trial and sometimes the jury makes a human error in it's verdict.

    Get an experienced criminal defense attorney to negotiate for you and hopefully you won't have to go to trial by jury.

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

  5. You definitely have a defense to the case but you may also be eligible for Deferred Entry of Judgement which , if completed successfully , would operate as a dismissal. This alternative is available UP TO TRIAL

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