You believe strongly in the idea that people should “live and let live,” as long as they aren’t hurting anybody else. With that in mind, you’ve turned a blind eye to your housemate’s drug activities. Maybe they have a heavy habit, or maybe they’re dealing. You mind your own business because whatever happens in their life is their business.
However, if the police were suspicious and got a warrant to investigate where you live then you could be charged with a crime — even though those drugs weren’t yours — through the idea of constructive possession. Here’s what you should know:
Defining constructive possession
An actual possession charge means that drugs were directly found in your possession: in your hand, pocket, purse or backpack. Constructive possession means that you knew where illicit drugs were located and had reasonable access to said drugs. In other words, a constructive drug possession charge can occur even if you aren’t directly in possession of drugs.
This can be confusing and, as such, you may need examples to better understand how a constant possession charge can happen. You may consider the following:
- Like above, you split an apartment with a known drug user and their drugs were found in places you could access.
- You share a car with someone who has drugs and, after a traffic stop, drugs were found in the glovebox or trunk.
- You share a gym locker with someone and the police find drugs stashed there.
A drug possession charge can be difficult to combat. You may need to know your legal options when building a defense against a drug offense.