What to Do If You Are Arrested For Drugs That Are Not Yours
The question is an unfortunately common one that our attorneys hear frequently – “Can I be arrested for drugs that aren’t mine?” Yes, you absolutely can. It is not uncommon in St. Louis or elsewhere throughout Missouri for individuals to get arrested and face criminal charges for drugs they know for a fact do not belong to them. When this happens to you or someone you love, you need to contact Combs Law Group immediately. Call our drug charges and possession lawyer now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a no-obligation case review.
Drug possession is a serious offense that often leads to serious punishment and other devastating consequences. Regardless if a law enforcement officer found illicit drugs that were yours or not, you can be arrested and charged with constructive possession for having the controlled substances in your care, control, or vicinity but not on your person.
If this has happened to you, speak with a St. Louis drug possession lawyer at Combs Law Group for free right away by calling (314) 900-HELP or contacting us online to discuss the specifics of your case.
What to Do If You Are Arrested For Drugs That Are Not Yours in St. Louis or Elsewhere in Missouri
Under Missouri Revised Statutes § 195.010 (38), “a person who, although not in actual possession, has the power and the intention at a given time to exercise dominion or control over the substance either directly or through another person or persons is in constructive possession of it.” An example of this would be if you share an apartment in St. Louis with a roommate. During a routine maintenance check, your landlord discovers copious amounts of illegal drugs, perhaps taped under a coffee table, in the living room. Both you and your roommate have access to the shared space, and both are aware of the presence of the substances. Yet, neither of you have physical possession of the drugs.
Prosecutors have the burden of proving that the illegal substances found or seized by law enforcement belonged to you or that you had knowledge of and exercised control over them. To even establish constructive possession, the prosecuting attorney must prove:
- That you knew or were aware of that the controlled substances were present.
- That you had access to and control of the area where the drugs were found or seized.
- That you knew or should have known that the controlled substances were illegal.
The prosecutor must establish that “a totality of the facts reasonably considered” in order for you to be found guilty. Your Combs Law Group criminal defense attorney in St. Louis won’t let that happen. Our drug possession legal team has decades of experience and knowledge to defend your best interests and provide a brighter future. You deserve the best possible representation when you are wrongfully accused of a crime.
How Do Constructive Possession Arrests Happen in St. Louis or Missouri?
The circumstances in which constructive possession arrests happen in St. Louis and Missouri vary widely, but they generally occur in the following scenarios:
- Home or Property Searches: St. Louis or Missouri law enforcement may execute search warrants on residences or properties suspected of drug-related activities. If illegal substances are found within the premises and multiple individuals live there, they could be charged with constructive possession if they had knowledge of the substances and the ability to control them.
- Vehicle Searches: During a routine traffic stop in St. Louis or throughout Missouri or a stop based on probable cause, if illegal substances are found within a vehicle (in the glove compartment or on the floor behind the seat, for example), the occupants of the vehicle can all be charged with constructive possession if they have knowledge of the drugs and the ability to control them.
- Public Places: If illegal substances are discovered in a public area and multiple people are present, those with knowledge of the drugs and the ability to exercise control over them may face constructive possession charges.
- Common Areas in Shared Spaces: In shared spaces such as dormitories, apartments, or communal living areas, if illegal substances are found in common areas accessible to multiple individuals – like a living room or kitchen – anyone with knowledge of the drugs and the ability to control them can be charged.
Reach Out to Combs Law Group Now to Speak With a Criminal Defense Attorney
It is important to remember that being charged with constructive possession doesn’t necessarily require physical possession of the drugs. Intent, knowledge, and control over the illegal substances are key elements in these cases. If you’re facing charges related to constructive possession of drugs, or any possession for that matter, in St. Louis or anywhere throughout Missouri, it is crucial to get the best legal representation available from the best criminal defense attorney to navigate the complexities of the legal process and to build a strong defense.