My approach to the practice of law is simple:
Your case will be as important to me as it is to you.
Under the law, the word "possession" has a particular meaning. Possession of a drug does not require ownership. Possession of a drug is not necessarily exclusive to only one person. In other words, two people can "possess" the same item at the same time.

Possession means to exercise dominion and control over something. Possession can be actual or constructive. "Actual possession" means to be in direct physical contact with the substance, such as holding drug paraphernalia in your hand, having cocaine in your pocket, or carrying marijuana in a purse on your shoulder.

"Constructive possession" means that you are not actually in physical contact with the substance, and must be proven by showing that the defendant:

  • Knew of the illicit nature of the drugs;
  • Knew of the presence of the drugs; and
  • Had dominion or control over the drugs.

Knowledge of the presence of the drug can be inferred from circumstantial evidence, including possession or ownership of the premises or vehicle where the item was found. HOWEVER, if more than one person jointly occupies the premises or vehicle where the drugs are found, then the knowledge of the accused can NOT be inferred from his possession of the premises or vehicle, but rather must be established by independent proof.

Independent proof can include:

  • Statements of the defendant that he knew about the presence of the drugs; or
  • The fact that the drugs were in plain view.

This proof is often lacking in such cases, and often will leave the prosecutor with little choice but to dismiss the case against you

Elements of the Offense - Proving Drug Possession