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What Is Constructive Possession of a Controlled Substance?

Prosecutors in the United States come down hard on drug crimes. So hard, in fact, that you can be accused of drug possession even if the drugs are not found on your actual person. How can this occur? Governed by the concept of constructive possession, prosecutors can show that someone accused of a drug crime had control and dominion over drugs that were found in a different location than they were. If this can be proven, the accused can face criminal charges for drug possession.

When am I considered to be in constructive possession?

Actual possession of drugs occurs when law enforcement finds drugs on the body of the person they are accusing. This means that there is little doubt that the drugs belonged to you, as there were on your possession. Proving drug possession becomes trickier when the drugs are not found on someone's actual body. For example, let's say police stop a car on a routine traffic stop and notice a bag of what appears to be cocaine in the backseat of the car. With multiple passengers in the vehicle, more than one person may have the same access to all of the drugs found in the car.

In order to prove constructive possession, it must be shown that:

  1. The accused had dominion and control over the controlled substance;
  2. The accused knew the drugs were there and had the ability to control the drugs; and
  3. The accused had knowledge that the substance in their possession was illegal.

Important to note that the proximity of the drugs to the accused does not make a difference. If the drugs in the above example were found in the backseat of the car, but the driver of the car is facing charges, the fact that the cocaine was closer to the backseat passengers will not make a difference.

Being found with any amount of a controlled substance in Texas is enough to find the accused facing time behind bars and expensive fines. If you or a loved one have been accused of a drug crime, you need the help of a lawyer right away. When your future is on the line, you have to fight for your defense. Call the team at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to discuss these accusations.