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Can you be charged over drugs that aren’t actually yours?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2023 | Possession

If the police conduct a search of your vehicle or property and find illegal drugs, they will almost certainly arrest you because they’ll assume that the drugs belong to you.

You might think clearing that up will be straightforward, and your case will soon be resolved. Yet it is not as simple as that. In certain cases, you can still be charged with possession of drugs that are not yours.

There are two types of possession

Actual possession is where the drugs belong to you. It’s obvious you would face criminal charges if caught with them. Constructive possession might apply when they belong to someone else. 

If someone put drugs in your car without you knowing they were there, that does not constitute a crime on your part. It does not qualify as constructive possession. So what does?

Two things must be true to prove constructive possession charges

Firstly, did you know they were there and that they were illegal? Convincing a court you were unaware of the illegality of a substance may be difficult of course but don’t rule it out.

Secondly, did you have control of them? That would mean you had the ability to access them. So, drugs stored in a locked vault in your house to which you do not know the code would not qualify. Drugs stored in your broken down car in the garage to which you have lost the key should also not qualify.

You can still face severe penalties if convicted of constructive possession. That’s why taking legal guidance is essential to battle all drug charges. 


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