What is constructive possession in drug cases?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | Drug Charges |

Facing a drug charge is serious – even a case you believe is minor can land you into significant trouble. If you are caught with a controlled substance, you may face this charge. And, in some instances, you may be charged with this crime even when you don’t have the drugs on you. This is called constructive possession. 

Here is what you need to know about this matter. 

Exclusive control

You may be accused of constructive possession if drugs are found in a place you have exclusive control over at a given time or other people have access to the location, but you knowingly exercise dominion and control over the drug. In the latter scenario, you and the others may be charged with joint possession. 

Examples of constructive possession

If drugs are found in your home or a house in your name, even in your absence, the police may charge you with constructive possession. Another example is if the police find drugs in your vehicle, even if someone else has it.

How do the police prove constructive possession?

Like with actual possession, the police need to prove crucial elements, including knowledge of the presence of the drug and that the drug is illegal/ is a controlled substance. However, with constructive possession, they have to prove additional elements – knowledge of the drug and its location and the ability and intention to control the substance (dominion and control).

Proving these elements may not be easy. Therefore, you should not plead guilty, as you have defense options. Nonetheless, constructive possession is a serious offense and should be handled as so.

If you are charged with constructive possession, you should obtain more information about your case to make the right moves.


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