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Can you face drug charges without actual possession?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2020 | blog

When it comes to a drug charge, the prosecutor has to prove that you possessed, owned or somehow controlled drugs. Drug possession comes in two different types. The first type of drug possession is actual possession, whereas the other is constructive possession. FindLaw defines constructive possession as a charge of illegal possession when the drugs were not in the defendant’s physical possession. How can you face charges if you did not have the drugs in your physical possession? The following examples may help alleviate some of the confusion around constructive possession. 

Constructive possession may be more difficult to understand. An example of constructive possession is when you have a key or access to the drugs. For instance, say that you have the only key to a safe where there are also illegal drugs. If you have the key to that safe on you, then you might as well have the drugs on your person. If you have the exclusive ability to access the drugs, then you may face possession charges. 

Another way that you can face charges of possession is if you gave it to another person. If a prosecutor proves that you gave drugs to a friend to hold onto it for you, then you may still find yourself guilty of possession. This means that you still had control over the drugs and meant to maintain that control. Say that you had a controlled substance but knew that there was a possibility of a drug search, so you put the substance in your friend’s purse. If the police find those substances, you are still the owner. 

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Defense: Law, Tactics, and Procedure | by Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. | Revere Legal Publishers