A drug possession charge is a serious criminal offense that can lead to fines and incarceration. Someone would be charged with drug possession if the police find that someone possessed illicit drugs on their person or was using, manufacturing or distributing drugs.
Someone could also be charged with a criminal drug charge even if drugs weren’t found on their person. In many cases, this would be considered a constructive possession charge.
What is constructive possession?
Constructive possession often occurs when drugs are found in a location that is accessible by multiple people. The person charged with constructive possession would have to know where the drugs were and had reasonable access to and control over them. This is a hard concept to understand – here are a few examples of how constructive possession can occur:
1. You share an apartment
You could share an apartment with someone who manufactures illicit drugs. If these drugs were stored in public spaces, such as the bathroom or living room, and found during a search, then you could face a consecutive possession charge.
2. You share a car
You may share a vehicle with someone who distributes prescription Ritalin. The other person stores the Ritalin in the glove box. During a traffic stop vehicle search, you could be charged with constructive possession if these drugs were found.
3. You share a gym locker
You may share a gym locker with someone who uses illegally purchased steroids. You may have seen this drug when grabbing your clothing. As a result, you could be suspected of using or distributing steroids in a constructive possession charge.
What are your legal rights if you’re facing a criminal drug charge?
A criminal charge such as drug possession or constructive drug possession can seriously harm your future. Understanding your legal rights could help you participate better in your own defense.