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man arrested for drug possession

Falsely Accused of Possession of Drugs 

Strand Law Offices, LLC Aug. 18, 2022

According to data from the FBI – National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), there were 23,946 total arrests for drug abuse violations in Pennsylvania in 2019. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, drug possession is a serious crime that attracts devastating penalties and other life-changing consequences.  

Whether you knew about the illicit drugs or not, you may be facing constructive possession charges for having controlled substances in your general area, care, or control but not on your person. A practiced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights when falsely accused of drug possession and help build your defense approach.  

At Strand Law Offices, LLC, we provide thorough legal guidance and loyal representation to clients facing constructive possession charges. Our qualified attorney has the resources to attempt to uphold your rights and refute the accusations against you with substantial facts and evidence. We’re proud to serve clients across West Chester, Lancaster County, and surrounding counties throughout Pennsylvania. 

Understanding Constructive Possession  

Constructive drug possession is a non-physical drug possession that occurs when an alleged offender has dominion and control over the controlled substances but not on them physically. In constructive possession, the illicit drugs are found within your area, under your care or control, but not on you. In essence, you may be arrested or indicted with drug possession even when the controlled substance is found in your general area.    

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, car owners may have constructive possession of the items in their vehicle’s trunk. For example, a police officer stopped an Uber or Lyft driver legally and requested to search the car, to which the driver gave his consent. During the search, the police found heroin in the trunk, and the driver was arrested. However, the substance was for a passenger who dropped off recently.  

According to Pennsylvania law, an individual may be arrested and charged for having constructive possession of a controlled substance. A skilled attorney can assess the nature and severity of your criminal charges and enlighten you about what the prosecutor needs to prove constructive possession in Pennsylvania. 

Elements Required To Establish

Constructive Possession 

To establish constructive drug possession charges in Pennsylvania, the prosecution attorney must show the following elements: 

  • The offender had dominion and control over the area where the controlled substances were found. 

  • The defendant knew or should have known that the illegal drugs were present. 

  • The defendant knew or should have known about the nature of the controlled substances – that they were illicit. 

By establishing that the aforementioned elements existed coupled with other incriminating facts, the prosecutor may be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had constructive possession – control and knowledge – of the illicit drugs. 

Incriminating Circumstances 

In constructive possession, the police believe that several people will likely have knowledge and access to the controlled substance. The following incriminating facts and circumstances may probably link an alleged offender with the drugs:  

  • The defendant owned the property or vehicle where the drugs were found.  

  • The defendant made false statements to deceive the law enforcement officer.  

  • The police found the drugs in the immediate proximity of the suspect during the vehicle search.  

  • The offender was agitated or nervous during the search.  

  • The defendant tried to resist arrest.  

  • The defendant fled on sighting the police.  

  • The offender showed suspicious actions, conduct, or behavior during the arrest.  

  • The police found the controlled substances in plain view.  

  • The drugs were found in the offender’s private room during the property search.  

  • The police found the drugs among the defendant’s personal belongings.  

Furthermore, the police and prosecutor may be able to build a case against you using any of these incriminating facts. Nevertheless, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re guilty of the accusations.  

A scholarly Pennsylvania drug crimes defense lawyer can review and investigate all of the facts of your case thoroughly, find and exploit weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and attempt to establish your innocence. 

Experienced Help When You Need it Most 

Defending your Pennsylvania drug allegations without experienced guidance or representation may expose you to the risks of suffering maximum punishment. Likewise, you can’t simply claw your way out of such a challenging situation by telling the arresting officer, “those drugs aren’t mine.” Therefore, when facing constructive drug possession charges, it is imperative that you retain an acquainted criminal defense attorney for detailed guidance and to strategize your defense.  

At Strand Law Offices, LLC, we handle criminal cases and defend clients who have been wrongfully accused of constructive drug possession. As your legal counsel, we can analyze every factor of your case thoroughly and outline a useful defense strategy to help battle your charges. Our trusted attorney will help you steer the Pennsylvania criminal justice system and represent you energetically in the legal proceedings.  

Facing constructive drug possession accusations can be terrifying. Don’t face them alone. Contact Strand Law Offices, LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with a reliable drug crimes defense attorney. Our proficient lawyer has the highly-personalized legal guidance, advocacy, and strong representation you need in your case. We’re proud to serve clients across West Chester, Lancaster County, and surrounding counties throughout Pennsylvania.