Can I Be Arrested for Drugs That Aren’t Mine?
July 19, 2022
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, possession of a controlled substance is a consequential offense that is punished severely. Even if you knew nothing about it, you can be arrested and charged with constructive possession for having illicit drugs in your vicinity, care, or control, but not physically on you. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights when arrested for drugs that aren’t yours and determine your best defenses.
At Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, we are dedicated to offering reliable representation and highly-personalized legal counsel to clients facing drug crime charges, including constructive possession. Our skilled attorney can review and investigate every detail of your case and strategize a solid defense in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for your unique situation. We’re proud to represent clients across York, Lancaster, Camp Hill, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
What Is Constructive Possession?
Constructive drug possession can be described as a non-physical drug possession that occurs when an alleged defendant is found with controlled substances within their vicinity, under their control or care, but not on them physically. Even when the illicit drug isn’t in your exclusive possession, you may still be arrested and charged with drug possession.
In Pennsylvania, a vehicle owner may have constructive possession of the contents in the car’s trunk. For instance, a law enforcement officer stopped a Lyft driver lawfully and requested a search. The driver consented to the search. During the process, the police found ecstasy in the vehicle, resulting in the driver’s arrest. The illicit drug belonged to a rider who they recently dropped off.
Under Pennsylvania law, you may be facing criminal charges for having constructive possession of a controlled substance or illicit drug. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the nature of your charges and help you understand what the prosecutor needs to establish constructive possession.
Elements Required to Establish Constructive Possession
In order to establish constructive possession charges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
The defendant exercised dominion and control over the area where the illicit drugs were found.
The defendant knew or should have known about the presence of the controlled substances.
The defendant knew or should have known about the nature of the drugs – that they were illegal.
If the prosecution attorney can establish that these elements existed along with other incriminating facts, they may be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the offender had constructive possession – knowledge, and control – of the controlled substance.
Here are some incriminating circumstances and facts that may possibly link an alleged suspect with a controlled substance:
The police found the controlled substances in the offender’s immediate proximity while searching their car.
The drugs were found among the defendant’s personal belongings.
The drugs were found in plain view.
The police found the controlled substance in the defendant’s private room during the property search.
The suspect made false statements in order to deceive the police officer.
The offender was agitated or nervous during the search.
The offender showed suspicious behavior, conduct, or actions during the arrest.
The defendant owned the car or property where the controlled substances were found.
The defendant resisted arrest or fled from the police.
With any of the incriminating facts mentioned above, the police can build a case against you. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guilty of the allegations against you. A skilled Pennsylvania drug crimes defense attorney can evaluate every last detail of your case and strategize an effective defense to help you avoid the devastating consequences of a criminal conviction.
Get Reliable Representation Today
Trying to defend your constructive possession allegations without experienced guidance or representation could possibly expose you to the risk of suffering the maximum penalties. Ordinary telling the law enforcement officer that the drugs aren’t yours may not be enough to establish your innocence. Therefore, when facing constructive drug possession charges, you need to retain a highly-skilled criminal defense attorney for detailed guidance and to build your defense strategy.
With over ten years of extensive experience, we have the resources, diligence, and expertise to defend and represent individuals wrongfully charged with drug possession. Our trusted attorney will help you navigate the Pennsylvania criminal justice system and attempt to keep your record as clean as possible.
Facing constructive drug possession charges can be terrifying. Don’t face them alone. Contact Korey Leslie, Attorney-At-Law, LLC, today to schedule a simple case assessment with a knowledgeable drug crimes defense lawyer. Our attorney has the aggressive representation and reliable advocacy you need in your case. We proudly represent clients across York, Lancaster, Camp Hill, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.