If the police find drugs in a car you’re in with other occupants, your first reaction would be to deny ownership. Unfortunately, denial of drug possession is something the police often hear, but just because most of these denials are false doesn’t imply they’re all lies.
There are serious risks of having drugs in the car, even if they belong to someone else and you don’t know about them. If you’re arrested, don’t resist but maintain respect for the police and avoid divulging more information than your identity. Then, get in touch with Criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs to evaluate your case and create a strong defense for you.
Who is Responsible If Drugs Are Found in Car?
Whether you can be charged with a crime for being in a car with someone who has drugs depends on many factors. You can be convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment and fines. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged based on constructive possession.
Constructive vs. Actual Drug Possession
Actual drug possession is when the police find drugs on your person or your personal stuff. For example, if the police find marijuana in your purse or pocket, they can charge you with actual drug possession.
On the other hand, they can charge you with constructive possession, which causes you to face charges for drugs in another person’s possession. This charge is more convoluted because it happens if the police find drugs in a place you have some control over. Additionally, the law doesn’t have a concrete definition of constructive drug possession.
For example, you’ll automatically be assumed responsible for the situation when you’re the driver of a car with multiple passengers, and they’re found in possession of drugs. Constructive drug possession applies because you have control and dominion over the vehicle. Colorado Springs drug crime lawyers can defend you in court to protect your rights in such a scenario.
What are the Penalties for Constructive Possession?
If you’re charged with constructive drug possession, the penalties could be equivalent to those for actual possession. The penalties will depend on whether it’s your first offense and the type and amount of illegal drugs in question. Constructive drug possession can be charged as a misdemeanor or a criminal charge.
A conviction of constructive drug possession can attract a $1,000 fine and a maximum of 12 months in jail. As a first-time offender, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. If investigations show that the drugs were for distribution, the charge will be a criminal offense and may attract a penalty of 3-9 years in county jail. That’s in addition to a maximum fine of $20,000.
All the same, it’s essential to realize that constructive possession cases are specific to their individual situations. Having Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers by your side is crucial. They can evaluate the case circumstances and prepare a strong defense against the evidence presented against you.
How Can the Police Prove a Constructive Possession Case Against Me?
There are essential elements that the police must prove in a constructive possession case against you:
- The drug is illegal or a controlled substance
- You had a considerable amount of the item in question
- You knowingly were in possession of the substance
In addition to these three elements, the police must prove an additional element: that you knew the drug and its location. Besides, they must show that you were in a position to control or have dominion over the item.
When Might I Face Charges Without Having Actual or Constructive Possession?
Several circumstances can lead to a constructive possession charge. For example, if you’re in a car with a person in possession of illegal drugs and you appear to be under the influence, you could be under suspicion. You may also face a charge if the person in possession blames you and others in the car, leading to a factual conflict of actual ownership.
The case can become complex and carries severe penalties. If you’re facing a charge without actual or constructive possession, you need to talk to drug crime lawyers in Colorado Springs to aggressively fight for the best possible outcome in your case. They can fight to have the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
How Can I Fight a Constructive Possession Charge?
Constructive drug possession is one of the most complicated cases that leave the prosecution with the difficult task of proving the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The presence of more than one person in the location where the drugs were found further compounds the situation.
A drug crime lawyer in Colorado Springs can explore various defenses to protect you, for example, questioning whether the police conducted the search lawfully. They may also argue that the police didn’t have enough probable reason to search your car or location.
You can’t defend yourself using a lack of intent to possess drugs, but unwitty possession can be a solid defense for the criminal charge. For example, if you carried a purse that had drugs the previous day but didn’t intend to carry the drugs when the police discovered you, lack of intent won’t help you in this case.
On the contrary, if you picked someone else’s bag by mistake and it contained drugs, you can use unwitting possession as your defense. Your drug crime attorney in Colorado can help you prove this with credible facts for an affirmative defense.
Aggressive and Skilled Legal Professionals Fighting for Your Rights
You risk being charged with a crime if you were unknowingly in a car with someone with illegal drugs. That may happen because of the legal concept known as constructive possession. While the case’s outcome depends on the evidence the prosecution presents, a drug crime attorney in Colorado Springs can come to your defense.
No matter how much you think you can defend yourself, don’t face the prosecution alone. A legal expert at our law firm can provide the legal representation you need during this challenging proceeding. Book a FREE case evaluation with us to discuss the details.