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The Difference Between Actual and Constructive Possession of Drugs

July 20th, 2016 at 6:00 am

Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes AttorneyDrug possession is one of the most common drug charges that criminal defendants face. When it comes to drug possession, whether it’s marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription pills or other controlled substances, it is important to understand that there are two types of drug possession: actual possession and constructive possession.

What Is Actual Possession of Drugs?

Actual possession arises when you are caught with the drugs on your person. This might mean that the drugs were found by law enforcement who are conducting a search, in your pocket, or tucked away in some other article of your clothing. Actual possession can also be established if you are found with drugs in your purse or backpack that you are carrying with you when you are searched.

Drug charges based on actual possession are tough to defend against since you are basically caught red-handed. But just because drugs were found on your person does not necessarily mean that you had knowledge that you were carrying drugs (someone else could have slipped the drugs in your purse or pocket), or that the drugs are yours. Furthermore, the drugs can only be entered as evidence against you if the stop conducted by the police officers, the search, and the seizure were all done legally.

What Is Constructive Possession of Drugs?

Constructive possession arises when drugs are found somewhere that can be associated with your control. For instance, if drugs are found in your bedroom, in your house or apartment, in your car or trunk, in your shed, in your field, in your locker, etc., you can be considered as having constructive possession of the drugs since these places are linked to your ownership or control.

Drug charges based on constructive possession are easier to fight since there may be a lot of opportunities for other people to have intervened and placed the drugs in or on property that can be associated with you. While it is tough to argue that drugs found in a secret box stashed under your bed were put there by someone else, it is possible that drugs could have been left in your home or car by a friend, for example. It is also possible that someone else was trespassing on your property and planted marijuana plants in your field. When other people have access to these areas, it becomes increasingly more difficult to demonstrate your possession.

How Can a Drug Possession Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the drug possession charges that you are facing by chipping away at the prosecution’s case against you. Your lawyer will determine whether you are accused of having actual or constructive possession of the drugs, and will identify any and all possible defenses that you could raise. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

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Written by Staff Writer

July 20th, 2016 at 6:00 am

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