The Gaunt | Law Office

More Than 20 Years Of Experience With Criminal Matters

4 examples of actual and constructive possession

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2022 | Drug-related Charges

An actual possession drug charge is caused by finding physical evidence of an illicit drug on a person or finding someone had direct control over a substance – which is the case for many drug possession charges. Alternatively, if someone didn’t have illicit drugs on their person but knowingly has access to an illicit drug stash, then they may be charged with constructive possession.

Actually and constructive possession are terms that can be difficult to differentiate. It’s often easier for people to understand complex terms when put into examples. Here are a few scenarios where someone might be charged with drug possession:

Selling and using drugs

Actual possession may be the most straightforward form of a drug charge. As stated above, a scheduled drug must be found on a person’s body to constitute an actual drug charge. This could mean, for example, being caught actively using a drug, being caught with a bag of unknown pills or being caught in the act of dealing drugs.

Holding drugs for a friend

One of the more confusing aspects of a constructive possession charge is that someone could be charged with giving someone illicit drugs to hide. For example, if you had a scheduled drug and hid it in someone’s backpack. Then, after an investigation, it was determined that it was your drugs, causing the court to charge you with constructive possession.

Splitting an apartment with a dealer

Say, for example, you may split the rent of an apartment with someone. After some time, you may have realized that they make their money dealing drugs. As a result of your roommate’s dealings, the police had a warrant to search your apartment.

If your roommate stored their drugs in places you had access to or left any out in the open, you could be charged with constructive possession because you shared the space. However, if your roommate kept drugs in a lock box stored in their room, it might be questioned whether you did or didn’t have access to said drugs.

Whether you’re being accused of actual drug possession or, unfortunately, knew the wrong people, causing you to be accused of constructive possession, you may need to consider getting legal help.