You didn’t pick your college roommates. You basically ended up housed with a group of strangers — and one of them, at least, seems a wee bit shady.
It isn’t until the police show up with a warrant to search your premises, however, that you realize exactly how shady that roommate really is. The police found drugs, and now you’re facing charges for possession and dealing marijuana out of your apartment.
How can the police charge you for drugs that aren’t yours?
You’ve probably been charged under the idea of “constructive possession.” Essentially, this is a net that is sometimes used by the authorities when cops find drugs in an area and it’s unclear exactly whose they are.
Typically, this gets the prosecution around arguments like “I was holding those drugs for a friend.” It’s also used in situations like yours, however, where drugs are found in a common area of a dwelling or vehicle and anybody there could (potentially) access and control those drugs at will.
The odds are high that the police found your roommate’s drugs someplace in the main area of your apartment — like the kitchen, bathroom or living room. Even though you may have had no idea they were packed into the cushions of the couch, the authorities don’t know that — and they certainly aren’t going to take your word for it.
What can you do to defend yourself?
There are defenses available to constructive possession charges. No matter how serious the evidence against you, don’t lose hope: Speak to an experienced defense attorney immediately. Do not try to plead your innocence to the police because they may twist your words against you.