Written by attorney Corey Ira Cohen

Actual v Constructive Possession

Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession of Drugs

If you have been arrested on any drug charge, including distribution, trafficking or possession, it is important for you to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights. The quality of your defense can affect not only the outcome of your case but also the outcome of your future. Drug charges may include: Possession

Cultivation of marijuana

Sale and distribution

Possession of drug paraphernalia

Actual Possession of Drugs is the situation where the police find the drugs on your person, in your hand and no one else had equal access to the drugs found. However, many times when Law Enforcement stops a car or serves a warrant on a home there are multiple people who all have the same access to the drugs. This is called Constructive Possession of Drugs. To be convicted of a case where there is constructive possession, the State must prove three elements: (1) Defendant had dominion and control over the contraband. (2) Defendant knew contraband was present. (3) Defendant knew of the illicit nature of contraband. Mere proximity to the drugs is usually not enough to convict someone in this type of case. A lawyer may be able to get many of these cases dismissed based on the principles of Constructive Possession.

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