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Can I Be Charged with Drug Possession if I am With Someone Who Has Them?

You may think that you cannot be charged with drug possession if you are with someone who has them, but that would be a mistake. Take a common scenario where a few friends are driving around town and get pulled over by the police for a minor traffic infraction. Unbeknownst to you, your friend has stashed a bag of drugs in the center console or in the glove box, and now everything has changed. You were out having a good time one second, and now you find yourself being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car, confused as to how you are being held responsible for something that wasn’t yours and you didn’t even know about.

Of course, this type of story can unfold in a number of different ways, but the outcome is the same: you can be charged for illegal drugs if you are in the general vicinity of them, even if they are not actually in your physical possession. It doesn’t matter whether you knew about it or not, this is a situation known as “constructive possession,” and covers situations where someone has control over personal property but not actual physical control of the drugs. This could apply to your room, your house, or your car, and it differs from situations where drugs may be found in your backpack, your pockets, or in your hand. The same law applies to instances where someone may have bomb making materials in their house, but have not constructed any bomb.

In situations like a few friends in a car, the arresting officer has no way of knowing who the drugs actually belong to. And law enforcement officers hear the excuses all the time — “those drugs aren’t mine” or “I don’t know how that got there.” If no one claims ownership of the drugs, the officers will likely arrest everyone in the car. This situation happens all too often, and the officers leave it up to the courts to determine who is guilty of the crime. Or in some cases, the officers hope that arresting all those involved will prompt the innocent party to identify who was really at fault.

It’s important to note that being charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted of a crime, which is why you need the help of an experienced Houston drug criminal defense attorney like those at Fears Nachawati.

Every case involving a constructive possession charge is different, and the facts of the matter are of crucial importance in determining how to best get the charges dropped, reduced, or have the case dismissed. A defense attorney can use a variety of strategies in these instances, such as showing that the officers did not have just cause to search the vehicle, that there was some sort of irregularity in the chain of custody, or that all the evidence is circumstantial.

Drug charges in the state of Texas are serious offenses, so you should not delay in contacting an experienced drug attorney. Being charged with drug possession for being with a friend that had them seems unfair, but the real tragedy would be getting convicted for a crime that you weren’t responsible for or knew nothing about, which is why you need the help of a great defense attorney.

If you’ve been charged for drug possession, then don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced drug attorneys at Fears Nachawati for a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Criminal Law