Drug Charges: Joint Possession Should Not Result in Joint Representation

If you, along with other people, have been charged with possession of the same drugs, you may be asking yourself how can this be?  Well, under Tennessee Law you may be prosecuted for what is referred to as joint possession.

In Tennessee, two types of possession exist: actual or constructive.  “A person who knowingly has direct physical control over an object at a given time is then in actual possession of it.  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.”

If you are charged with possession, it may be under the theory of sole possession or joint possession.  Possession is joint if two or more people have actual or constructive possession of a thing.

When seeking representation in a joint possession case, you should always consider seeking separate counsel.  Just because you have been charged under a theory of joint possession does not mean that you should seek joint representation as your rights and interests may be at odds with those of any codefendants.  For this reason, it is almost always to your benefit to retain an attorney who only represents you.  While your defense may appear to be perfectly aligned with those of your codefendants, there may be unforeseen issues.  In order to avoid the pitfalls associated with joint representation, you should discuss these issues with your attorney from the outset.

As you can see, what may at first appear to be a simple matter can quickly become a field of landmines for the inexperienced.  The criminal defense lawyers at Stephens Law, PLC are former prosecutors and have extensive experience working with Drug Task Forces located in Middle Tennessee.  Penalties for drug possession can be harsh and should always be taken seriously.   Our team is prepared to fight for you.