Did the police knock on your door, search your house and find drugs? If so, they may have arrested you. However, what if those drugs were not yours? Perhaps they belonged to a roommate or family member. Before you can be charged with possession, police will need to believe you had constructive possession of the drugs.
What is possession?
Possession means you have ownership or control over an item. You own drugs if you use them for your own use and enjoyment. Actual possession, in legal terms, is referred to as possession in fact. This means you have physical custody or control of an item. If you bought drugs and kept them in your home for your own use, you possess those drugs.
What is constructive possession?
Constructive possession is a bit more nuanced than actual possession. When it comes to drugs, constructive possession exists when you know of the drugs and can exert control over them, even if you do not explicitly have contact with them.
Some examples where you may have constructive possession include your home, a safe deposit box or a car. If drugs are found in these places, you could face possession charges if you knew they were there and had control over them. Essentially, if you had the right to use the drugs in your home, you could be charged with possession even if the drugs were not on your person or you were not using them at the time.
Protect your rights
Ultimately, if drugs are found in your home and you are charged with a drug crime, you must protect your rights. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You can combat possession charges if you can show you had neither actual nor constructive possession of the drugs found in your home.