Can I be charged with possession for drugs found lying on the street? 41 Answers as of October 12, 2012

I was arrested and drugs were found a few yards away. I was charged with possession.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information to answer. The law regarding this is complicated. You should hire an attorney and disclose all the facts.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/12/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You can be charged with the crime but whether you can be convicted is another matter entirely. Get a good lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/27/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Possession can be charged as "constructive possession" which means that while you may not have had the drugs on you, you had control over them. It is not easy to prove and if you have a good lawyer you should have a good chance of beating the charge.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/26/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
My guess is that the cop will say he saw you drop the drugs, that is a factual issue for the jury to decide.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/26/2012
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Under some circumstances you might be charged with the drugs.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 9/24/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    CAN they charge you? Of course. They already DID, didn?t they? On any charge they think they have evidence and can convict you. Whether you can be convicted is a different question. When questioned, arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or statement be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal and factual arguments, for evidence suppression, search and seizure, or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, programs, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    How did the drugs get on the street? Did you put them there? Did someone see you put them there? It appears that you are not telling me the whole story.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If there exists probable cause to believe that the drugs were in your possession, no matter where they are found, you can be charged with possession. In order to convict, the state does have the burden of proving possession beyond a reasonable doubt. It becomes a matter of convincing a jury that the drugs were "in your possession" even if they were ultimately found lying on the street.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Yes, you can be charged. The prosecutor will need to show that you had control over the drugs and that you knew about them. If neither of those things are true, then you have a good case. Regardless, you should definitely hire a good attorney to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If the law enforcement officer has reason to believe that the drugs on the street were yours then you can be charged. However, being charged is not the same as being proved guilty. To be found guilty there has to be evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    You can be charged but that does not mean you will be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You can be charged, but the burden will be on the prosecution to prove they were, at some time prior to your arrest, in your actual possession. An example of proof is the cop saw you drop the drugs, then move away from the location where you dropped them.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Guess that depends on what caused the cops to believe they needed to look for drugs a few yards away. Ask your attorney who has the reports and both sides' version of events.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Obviously Yes. You have been charged.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Of course you can be charged, because you were charged. The question is will the jury find you guilty. The answer is it depends on the evidence, and the quality of your defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of James Gandy
    Law Office of James Gandy | James Gandy
    Short answer - yes, the state can 'charge' you for possessing something that is not on your person. It appears that you are confusing two ideas - allegations with convictions. The state - via the prosecutor and/or police - can claim, or allege, that you possessed something that was not found on your person. This will require them to somehow indicate that despite these items not being on your person you exercised dominion or control over them. This is how they would charge you with possession and this is based entirely upon what they claimed happened. The next step, they would have to convince a jury that what they are alleging is true. This is required for a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    "Can I be charged" is not the question you want an answer to. Anyone CAN be charged with just about anything. There is a difference between being charged and being convicted. Whether or not you can be convicted will depend on the strength of the evidence against you. You haven't provided enough detail for an attorney to give you a good assessment of your case. My advice is to hire a local criminal defense lawyer to review the case and to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You can be charged for the drugs the police will hae to be able to prove that the drugs were yours.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Cops are LAZY. You were the closest . . . so you get charged! YES . . . I've heard of this several times. Hire an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Yes but you may not be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    The answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Hire an attorney and he or she will give you an in depth consultation and evaluation of your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    There are many cases on this subject. Hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your area. Yes, you can be charged with this.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    If there is evidence that the drugs were associated with you then it will be a problem, like if no one else was around or the cop says they saw you throw them or something.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    The officer would have had seen you buy the drugs, throw the bag with drugs, or some attachment to the drugs with you. The close proximity can be argued.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    If the police think that you dropped them when they were coming then yes.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Anybody within reach of the drugs can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Law enforcement assumes you had the drugs and threw them away when you saw the police. You can certainly be charged, but the state will have to prove those drugs were yours. If a witness testifies he saw you throw the drugs down, that may be enough.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    If you we're seen throwing the drug, yes.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    Technically, you can be charged with anything. Whether or not the D.A. can prove the charges is another thing. If you have not done so already, I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be arrested for possession of drugs if you are in the area, in a car or house with drugs, or if the police see you throw them to the ground. If the police walk up and find drugs sometimes they will say that they saw a defendant drop the drugs. This is so common that it has a name, it's called "dropsey testimony" and it is just another way the police can make a bad arrest stick. They know if they say that they found the drugs in the street near the defendant that he can still be arrested but he will win the trial. There are two types of police officers, some who lie all the time and some who lie only when they feel they have to for some reason, usually to cover up for something they did or another officer has done. Narcotics officers are notorious for 'tailoring their testimony to meet constitutional standards" which means they lie to make the search legal. They know that nothing will happen to them even if they get caught lying unless it is on tape. You should not have drugs on you where the police can find them, especially on the street or in a car. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to handle the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Brunell Latrice Donald | Brunell Latrice Donald
    You can be charged if the police can prove constructive possession. Constructive possession would be as they approached you they saw you drop those drugs to the ground. Even if they could not see what was in your hand they will say you dropped unknown objects to the ground and when they searched that area they found drugs, which they believe belonged to you. If you never dropped anything before or after they approached you, then no you should not be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    Sounds like the police had reason to believe you tossed the drugs to avoid detection. That is a proof problem and you will have to either persuade the DA, Judge or jury that you had nothing to do with those drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Spokane County Prosecutor's Office
    Spokane County Prosecutor's Office | Patrick Johnson
    In general, the answer is yes. But it depends on other facts like whether someone testifies that it looked like you threw or dropped something, how many people were in the same area, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, and the authorities will have to prove they were yours.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It's all about what they can prove. Your defense (that the drugs were just lying on the street next to you) will make every Judge and prosecutor laugh so hard they will fall of their chairs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Yes, but only if there is some evidence that you recently exercised "custody and control" over said items. If you had been seen throwing the items away, for example, this would establish custody and control. If, however, no evidence exists to establish some connection between you and the drugs, the case would appear to be standing on shaky grounds, and is likely to collapse.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    I need more information. Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    The answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It depends on if the police saw you slough them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
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