Can a person be charged with drug possession while traveling in a car or similar situations when the drugs did not belong to them?
Drug Possession Charge: Sometimes a situation arises where several people are traveling in an automobile and one occupant has drugs on him or her and subsequently puts them under the seat or other compartment upon being stopped by a police officer. If no one claims responsibility for the drugs all of the occupants may be arrested for possession. Be careful who you travel with.
Location of Drugs and Occupants: It is also important to take note of where the drugs and occupants were located during the stop. If the drugs were under the driver’s seat and it’s the driver’s car and you were in the backseat that is helpful information to show the drugs were not yours and that multiple individuals had access to the drugs.
Equal Access Doctrine: The doctrine of equal access is that if multiple parties could have possession of illegal drugs it is difficult or potentially impossible to prove that one person exclusively possessed the illegal drug. However, if three people are actually using an illegal drug such as marijuana, all three can be charged with possession. There are varying spectrums of the law in regards to potential possession of marijuana or other drugs. Riding in an automobile is not the only situation where an individual may be charged with drug possession even though the drugs were not theirs.
About the attorney: Anne Bishop is a Georgia Lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWI, Marijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch), Jackson County (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.