The drugs weren’t even mine!


But Officer,

the drugs weren’t even mine!


Frequently when I represent a client charged with “Possession of Dangerous Drugs”, I get asked either of these two questions:

“How could I have been charged with possession? The drugs weren’t even mine!”


“How could I have been charged with possession? I didn’t even have any drugs on me!”

Well, when it comes to the word “possession” I think I will borrow the quote from Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride: “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Let me explain what it does mean by giving you this example.

Suppose you have a friend, and he asks you to drive him somewhere. Let’s also suppose that your friend has some methamphetamine with him and that when he gets into your car, he stashes the meth in the center console.

Now there you are, just driving along, minding your own business, and the next thing you know, you’re getting pulled over by the police who then discover the meth in your center console.

So of course the first thing you do is tell the police that you aren’t the one who bought the drugs nor are you the one who put them in your car’s center console.

But they still charge both of you – you and your friend – with possession!

What is up with that?

I know that when we think of the word “possession” we think of “ownership”, but it doesn’t always mean that.

In the eyes of the law, when it comes to drugs, there are two types of possession – and neither has anything to do with ownership.

One type of possession is “actual”. That means that the drug was literally on you (like, for example, if you were carrying it in your pocket).

The second type of possession is “constructive”. That means that the drug was in a place where you could “exercise control” over it. Or to be more clear, the drug was in a near-by place that you could get to if you wanted (like, for example, in the center console of your car).

You know what does mean what you think it means? Tate Against The State.

What should you take away from this post?  Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney – like Loyd C. Tate – is your best defense.


The Law Office of Loyd C. Tate

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