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What is constructive possession? 2 examples

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Possession of illicit drugs in Georgia can lead to serious criminal charges. Those convicted of drug possession in Georgia could see 10 to 30 years behind bars and face up to $5,000 in fines depending on the amount of a substance and its quality. Suspects may be charged with actual drug possession if they were knowingly in control of substances without a prescription, which were found on their person or in their home or vehicle. 

While many people are charged with actual possession, others may face constructive possession. Constructive possession is a legal theory that involves the idea that a suspect had no knowledge they had access to illegal substances. Here are a few ways constructive possession can happen: 

Prescription drugs left in a borrowed vehicle

A friend may have borrowed a suspect’s vehicle. This friend may have used this vehicle to pick up a prescription medication and left it in the vehicle when they got home. The suspect may have used their vehicle soon after without realizing that the prescription drug was still in their car. If the suspect was pulled over, they may be questioned as to why they have a prescription drug in their vehicle that is under another person’s name. This could lead to a constructive possession charge if it is not clear that the suspect’s friend previously borrowed their car. 

Illegal drugs were found in a shared locker 

A suspect may have a key to a gym locker that they share with a friend. This friend may have a substance abuse problem and may store illegal substances like testosterone, for example, in the shared locker. If the drugs were discovered after a police investigation, the suspect who does not use the drugs could be accused of possession because they had access to the locker. 

It can help to understand how constructive possession works if you are trying to defend yourself from criminal charges. You can learn more about your defense option if you reach out for legal help.