What Needs to Be Proved in a Drug Possession Case? Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Steve Duckett

What Needs to Be Proved in a Drug Possession Case? Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Steve Duckett


If you’re charged with possession, you’re
wondering, “What do they need to prove?” The first thing that they need to prove is that
you possessed the drug. Possession itself can be proved in one of
two main ways in Virginia. There is actual possession, which is literally what it says.
You have it in your hands, in your pocket, in your backpack that belongs to you and you’re
wearing at the time. And then there’s also constructive possession,
which is a much grayer area. In constructive possession, essentially what the commonwealth
needs to prove is that you are aware of the nature and the presence of the illegal contraband
and that at some point, you exerted some dominion and control over that contraband. An example
is if you’re driving in a car and some people are smoking marijuana and you’re just sitting
there in the backseat minding your own business and the police stop you. He notices that there’s
a couple of joints in the ashtray and he charges everybody with it. You make no statements, you say nothing about
the marijuana, you don’t acknowledge that it’s there. It’s going to be very, very difficult
for the commonwealth to prove that you possessed that marijuana. They can prove that you were
aware that it was there, but they will never be able to prove that you had dominion and
control over it.

5 comments

  1. please take my advice if the police search you car with out a warrant take it to trial and if they try to use the caretaker doctrine fight it but also remember that you have the right to have an evidence suppression hearing and believe me the prosecutor does not want that and do not take a plea bargain unless you have a bad case possession charges are really hard to prove believe me i know this from personal experience hang in there and do not back down its a long stressful battle but its not one you can't win so remember suppression hearings are the strongest tool your attorney has make sure he or she use,s it and also there are some really good public defenders out there i know because i had one and she got my charges dissmissed true story

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