What Is Constructive Possession?
“Constructive possession” is a term used whenever someone is charged with illegal possession of something not actually in his or her possession.
The difference between constructive possession and “actual” possession can seem blurry at times, but either way, a prosecuting attorney must prove the defendant is guilty of one of them to achieve conviction.
“Control or Dominion”
In Nebraska, constructive possession is defined as the defendant having “control or dominion over premises where a controlled substance is located.” In other words, constructive possession applies when it is clear an object or substance belongs to an individual but was not found on the individual or in his or her immediate physical control.
For example, imagine a suspect keeps a key to a safe in his pocket. Inside that safe is stolen money. Because the suspect has the key to the safe and has the exclusive ability to access what’s inside, the law sees this as constructive possession of stolen money.
At Berry Law, most of the constructive possession cases we see are drug-related. Often, people will be charged with possession without actually being caught using a drug or carrying it in their pockets.
Defending Against Constructive Possession Charges
If illegal drugs are found in your car, home, or rented storage space, chances are you will be charged with possession, even if you have no idea how the drugs got there. A charge of constructive possession is much more difficult to prove than actual possession, but if a link can be made between you and the illegal item or substance, a jury could still be convinced.
That being said, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew where the illegal item or substance was when it was found by authorities. And even if you did know where it was, how could it be said that you had any kind of control over it, even if it was found in your home? Anyone visiting your home in the recent past, from exterminators to family to landlords to complete strangers, could have left it there themselves, either purposefully or accidentally.
Hiring an Attorney
Berry Law is a team of criminal defense lawyers providing aggressive, results-driven representation to those charged with possession of marijuana, synthetic marijuana, drug paraphernalia, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other illegal substances. We also defend people accused of illegal possession of prescription drugs.
Constructive possession is a charge that can be fought several different ways on several different levels. A good criminal defense attorney knows that there are several ways to fight drug charges. At Berry Law, we have successfully represented people charged with constructive possession for decades.
If you or a loved one has been charged with constructive possession, contact Berry Law today.