Drug possession is the crime of being in control of an illegal substance. There are a couple different forms of drug possession including constructive possession and actual possession. Actual possession means that someone had a substance on them, such as in their hand or in a pocket. Constructive possession means that someone had the power to possess and be aware of an illegal drug. For instance, if drugs are found in the glove compartment of a vehicle. This article will further delve into what it means to be in possession of a controlled drug.
Could more than one person be charged with constructive drug possession?
Yes, several people could be charged within the same constructive drug possession case. For example, if there is a group of people who share a house together and it can be shown that they had the ability to be in control of and should have been aware of these drugs, then more than one person can be guilty of constructive drug possession. The same goes for other property that is shared such as vehicles, rented office spaces, and boats.
What about items that are used and are associated with certain illegal drugs?
Possession doesn’t have to only include the drug in itself. It can also be unlawful to be in possession of precursor items (such as devices, products, and accessories) that are used to consume the controlled substance. These associated items are referred to as “drug paraphernalia.” So if marijuana is illegal in the state a person resides, then they could be charged with drug possession for having rolling papers, pipes, etc.
What if an abundance of illegal drugs are found?
The consequences for a drug possession charge vary based on the amount found, the person’s criminal history, and the type of drug. If an abundance of a certain drug is confiscated, the prosecution may try to charge that person with having plans to sell or distribute, even if they haven’t yet. These charges usually come with more serious consequences since it wasn’t just for personal use, and many people could be negatively affected. Larger amounts often result in a drug possession charge with “intent to distribute.” It is important to note that if someone is found with a small amount of illicit drugs but has materials related to distribution or selling, then they may be charged with intent to distribute anyway. Every drug arrest and conviction outcome is influenced by the circumstances of the arrest.
What does “simple” possession mean?
Some states view simple possession of a less serious drug, such as marijuana, to be a mild offense. The repercussions for a simple possession tend to be much lighter, compared to those who are found with stronger drugs like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, or methamphetamines. Anyone who has been recently arrested for drug possession, whether simple or more serious, is strongly advised to talk with a drug lawyer, like a drug lawyer in San Francisco, CA, for guidance and representation during this time. Depending on the state you live in the penalties may be steep, so it’s best to get assistance from a legal professional.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into the consequences of being in possession of drugs.