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What Is the Difference Between Constructive Possession & Actual Possession?

What Is the Difference Between Constructive Possession & Actual Possession?

Actual possession charges occur if you are found by police and appear to have direct, physical control over drugs or other illegal substances. Constructive possession deals with access to and knowledge of the drugs in question.

Constructive possession happens when you do not have physical possession of a drug, but do have:

  • Knowledge of the drug's presence on or around your property.
  • The ability to maintain dominion or control over the illegal substance.

Individuals and groups can both be charged with constructive possession for the same substance. For example, 2 people can be charged for the same bag of cocaine if they are living in the same house. Simply being close to a drug or controlled substance is not enough to warrant a constructive possession charge.

How Is “Knowledge” and “Ability to Maintain Dominion & Control” Defined?

Under constructive possession laws, knowledge is defined as:

  • Awareness of the substance on or around your property. This awareness can be inferred from incriminating facts or circumstances.
  • Knowing the illegal status of the drug or substance.

A person’s ability to maintain dominion and control can be interpreted differently in each state. Usually, a person will be charged with constructive possession if they knowingly had the power and intention, either directly, indirectly, or through another person, to control the whereabouts of the illegal substance.

Our Drug Possession Attorney Is Ready to Help You

Both types of convictions can result in jail time, expensive fines, and a criminal record that will follow you well into the future. Drug-related charges are extremely fact-specific, which is why you should hire experienced legal representation if you are facing possession charges.

At The Law Offices of Daniel J Miller, we provide our clients with exceptional legal guidance tailored to their unique needs. Our drug possession lawyer can help navigate you through the complexities of the legal system and get you the justice you deserve. We are here for you when you need us most.

Call (757) 517-2942, or contact our Virginia Beach drug possession attorney for your free consultation.

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