Defining drug possession charges

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

When you think about drug charges in Alabama, you might think that it’s a general charge due to possessing an illegal substance. However, there are a few details pertaining to the type of possession involved that could change the course of the consequences if you’re convicted.

Actual possession

In regards to drug violations, this is a straightforward charge. When an officer finds drugs on your person, such as in your hand or in your pocket, then it’s considered actual possession. The drugs might not belong to you, but since they are found on you, then you would be charged. Keep in mind that no one else in your vehicle or close to you would have the same ease of access to the drugs found in order for you to be charged.

Constructive possession

This type of possession can be a bit more difficult to prove and can often result in more defenses available if you go to court. An officer would need to suspect that there is more than one person who has access to the drugs or who has knowledge about the ownership of the drugs. An example of this would be if an officer were to stop your vehicle and find drugs in the center console or in the glove box. If there is more than one person in the vehicle at the time, then each person could have access to the drugs in question. This is a type of possession charge that you might receive if you’re in a home where there is more than one person who could have access to the drugs that are found. The officer would need to have proof that the drugs belong to you or someone else in order for a conviction to be upheld in most instances.

While drug charges are often clear-cut if one person is involved, the details can become a bit more entangled if multiple people could be in possession.