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If drugs are found in your car

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Drug possession charges in Indiana come with serious penalties, which is why it is important to mount a strong defense against a drug charge.

Some situations involving drug possession are vague, such as if the police find drugs in your vehicle after pulling you over for another reason. You could find yourself facing a drug possession charge just because the drugs were in the vehicle, whether you were the driver or a passenger, or whether the vehicle is yours or not.

Actual and constructive possession

How is this possible? Indiana recognizes two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession.

Actual possession is exactly what it sounds like. You are charged with actual possession when the drugs are found somewhere on you, such as in a pocket or another article of clothing.

Constructive possession is more complex. When drugs are found in your vehicle, you could face a drug possession charge under the legal theory of constructive possession.

This means that although the drugs were not physically on you, you knew the drugs were there, you intended to access them and had control over the location where they were found.

A drug possession charge based on constructive possession could happen in various situations. The drugs could be found in your home, office or any other location you have control over.

There are many ways to attack a drug possession charge based on constructive possession. It is much harder for the prosecution to prove guilt based on constructive possession.

As with any criminal case, the prosecutors must prove the drug possession charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This typically requires direct evidence.

Defending against a drug possession charge

Constructive possession often involves only circumstantial evidence. When drugs are found in your car, there are several other possibilities that can be explored as to how they got there.

For example, perhaps someone else had access to the vehicle. Even if someone else did not drive the vehicle, if you live with other people, one of them could have entered your vehicle without you knowing. Maybe the vehicle was left unlocked for a time.

When you bought the vehicle could also be brought up. If you recently purchased the vehicle, there is a higher chance that items could be inside it that you did not know about.

Questions regarding where exactly the drugs were found should also be asked. Were the drugs buried within other items so that you did not know they were there? How close were you to the drugs?

If you were driving the vehicle and the drugs were buried under several items in the trunk, this seriously undermines the prosecution’s theory that you knew about them.

Don’t let a drug possession charge ruin your life

Investigating these types of scenarios weakens the prosecutions case. Remember that it is their burden to prove that the drugs were yours and only you had control over them.

Usually there is no easy way to prove that one person possessed the drugs if they were not found directly on them. This can be a huge advantage to you if you face a drug possession charge based on drugs being found in your vehicle.