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Can I Be Arrested for Drugs That Aren’t Mine?

Johnson Law Firm
Dec. 7, 2021

A girl takes a pill out of another person's handIf you were arrested for possession of drugs that did not belong to you, your freedom is at stake. Proving that the drugs were not yours can be challenging, which is why you need a criminal defense attorney to help you prove your innocence and avoid a conviction.

Whether the drugs were found in your car or house, you can face a drug charge even if the drugs belonged to someone else. Consider hiring our knowledgeable drug possession defense attorney at Johnson Law Firm to fight for your rights and get the charges reduced or dismissed. Our trusted and results-driven attorney represents clients facing drug and other criminal charges in St. Joseph, Missouri, as well as surrounding areas in Missouri and Kansas.

Can You Be Arrested for Drugs That Weren’t Yours?

In most cases, individuals caught with drugs in their vehicle or house can be arrested for possession unless they can prove that they were not the only one with access to that vehicle or house. The police are likely to arrest you for drugs if you are their main suspect.

  • When drugs are found in your house: When the police find drugs in a house or apartment, the person with immediate control of the property will be the first suspect.

  • When drugs are found in your car: In most cases where drugs are found in someone’s vehicle, the driver or owner of the vehicle will face arrest for drug possession unless the drugs were found next to a passenger in the back seat.

If you are facing arrest for drug possession, do not resist arrest, even if you know for a fact that the drugs were not yours. Resisting arrest would make your situation much worse. In addition, exercise your right to remain silent because your words may be twisted and used against you even if you are innocent. If you wonder, “What can I do if I was arrested for drugs that weren’t mine?,” consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your legal rights and prove that the drugs were not yours.

Constructive Possession

Under the “constructive possession” doctrine, you can be held responsible for drugs even if you did not actually have physical control of the drugs. In other words, if drugs are found in your general vicinity, you can be arrested for possession.

It is not uncommon for people to face drug possession charges for drugs that did not belong to them but were found in their car or house. The constructive possession doctrine would be applicable when drugs are found in an individual’s vehicle, room, house, or another area over which they have control. However, when a person is caught with drugs in their hands or pockets, the drugs are considered to be in their actual possession.

An example of constructive possession would be an Uber or Lyft driver who had drugs in the back seat of their vehicle. Under the constructive possession doctrine, the driver can be charged with drug possession unless they can prove that the drugs belonged to their passenger.

Even though there are differences between actual and constructive possession, a person charged with drug possession can face hefty fines, jail time, and a criminal record.

Know or Should Have Known

Under the theory of constructive possession, an individual can face criminal charges for drug possession even if the drugs were not found on their person. However, the prosecution must still establish the following elements to prove constructive possession:

  • You knew or should have known about the drugs in your car or house (room, apartment, etc.);

  • You knew or should have known that the drugs were illegal; and

  • You had the ability to exercise control over the illicit drugs.

Proving that someone knew or should have known about the drugs is a tricky part in any drug possession case based on “constructive possession.” Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might face drug possession charges if drugs were found in plain view or with your other personal items.

However, it may still be possible to fight against the charges even in these situations. If you are facing a drug charge, but the controlled substance found in your possession is not yours, you might want to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to develop a winning strategy and prove your innocence.

Contact Johnson Law Firm

If you were arrested or charged with a crime for drugs that were not yours, you should discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney at Johnson Law Firm to identify the best defense strategy in your specific case. Our reliable attorneys can review your particular case and determine which defenses apply to your situation. We represent clients facing drug possession charges in St. Joseph, Savannah, Platte City, and surrounding areas in Kansas and Missouri.