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What is constructive possession in a drug case?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Do you suspect your roommate deals with or abuses illicit drugs? It doesn’t matter as long as they pay rent, right? It does and could mean receiving a drug possession charge.

Drug possession is a serious crime that affects many people for life. Any time you apply for a job, loan or rental agreement, your drug possession charge could get in the way. But how can your roommate’s substance abuse or dealing lead to you getting a drug possession charge? Here’s what you should know:

Scheduled drugs

To better understand how constructive possession may affect you, you may need to know how drugs are classified first. Every drug is classified by a schedule – Schedule I drugs are highly mentally and physically addictive, often considered illicit, and Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential of abuse, often found in local stores and pharmacies.

The higher the schedule a drug is on, the easier dealers and users can be charged with drug possession charges. A drug possession charge could lead to fines and incarceration. 

Drug charges by proxy

Your only experience with scheduled drugs may be anything behind the counter or prescribed by your doctor. This is the same for the majority of people. Your roommate, however, may be more experienced in the use and distribution of illicit drugs. 

If your roommate does deal in illicit drugs, they may be hidden in places that you, despite being unaware of, have access to, such as the bathroom, living room, shared car or kitchen. If the police have a warrant out on your roommate, they may suspect that you had access to their drugs and, as a result, charge you with constructive possession

In short, constructive possession doesn’t need physical evidence that you had any drugs. You could be charged with drug possession just for having access to a place that contained drugs.