If you have been charged with possession of drugs that were not yours and perhaps were only in your vicinity when they were discovered by law enforcement, you may have been charged under a theory of what is referred to as constructive possession. It is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands this and the other legal theories under which a drug prosecution can occur.
In Tennessee, “A person, who, although not in actual possession, knowingly has both the power and intention at any given time to exercise dominion and control over an object is then in constructive possession of it.”
A typical constructive possession scenario could be that an officer initiates a traffic stop on a vehicle with three occupants and subsequently develops probable cause to search a vehicle based on the odor of marijuana. The search later reveals marijuana in the center console. Each of the three occupants of the vehicle deny ownership of the marijuana, but the officer charges all three of them under a theory of constructive possession. Under Tennessee Law, an individual’s mere presence is not sufficient to convict a person of drug possession. However, in order to mount a quality defense, each of the aforementioned individuals would be well served to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Matt Stephens is a former prosecutor and has extensive jury trial experience in the State of Tennessee. Stephens Law, PLC will provide you with a meticulously crafted defense strategy.