Would I be in trouble if my passenger had drugs? 44 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I was driving my vehicle and had a passenger riding along with drugs on them, lets say meth, and I got pulled over for a traffic stop and the officer could tell something was up with my passenger, got us out and patted us down only to find meth on my passenger. Would I, the driver, get any tickets or repercussions, for my passenger?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Speaking generally, any individual in a vehicle that contains alleged narcotics may be charged with some type of criminal offense. Theoretically, passengers or drivers in the vehicle may be charged as co-conspirators or accessories to the alleged "owner" of the illegal narcotics. Ultimately, the proofs will determine whether a person will be found guilty. However, it's fairly common for prosecutors to charge everyone in the car with the expectation that some of the passengers will provide useful information in exchange for a reduced or dismissed charge. I'd recommend you retain a lawyer. Charges regarding meth, in particular, are punishable by potentially lengthy prison terms.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/24/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You might or might not get charged with anything. You wil have to wait and see. If you do get charged you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/28/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your inquiry In some cases, you would not be charged in the circumstance you describe. Without more, there is nothing to show that you were in possession or were an accessory to the purchase or possession of the controlled substance. However, if there is more information which is not included, there could be some circumstance where a charge could be brought. I hope that this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/4/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If it could be proven you knew they were present you could be charged with possession yourself.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
It is entirely possible that you could also be charged with possession of meth. Possession can be sole or joint possession and you do not have to have the meth on your person to be charged it was in your car.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/3/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    The answer is it depends on where the drugs were found and whether there was any other evidence (observations, statements, etc) linking you to the drrugs. Legal disclaimer: All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/3/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If you did not know the passenger had drugs and the passenger stated that the drugs were his/hers, then you should not have any problems.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Possession of a controlled substance means that you had actual care, custody, or control over the contraband. Can the cops assert you knew the drugs were there and arrest you, yes. Should you accept any punishment whatsoever under the circumstances you set out here, hell no. If you are charged, get a lawyer ASAP. If you were not arrested or charged, it is highly likely you encountered a reasonable cop (there are a few out there) who used proper judgement (yes, there are a rare few who do this too) and you are worried about nothing.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Were you arrested at the time? If not, then I seriously doubt that you have anything to worry about, but your friend is in a lot of trouble, and better get an attorney right away, or could end up in ther pokey for a long strength!
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Possibly, especially if you had knowledge of the drugs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If your passenger is found to have drugs on him by a law enforcement officer you could be implicated in the drug possession of the drugs. You could also be charged with transportation of the drugs and your car could be confiscated. If this has happened to you consult an attorney now. If this is something you may expect to happen in the future, do not let anyone in your car with drugs!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If there were evidence showing you had prior knowledge of the passenger's possession and you did nothing, you could be charged as an accomplice.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Did this happen?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    It is possible you could be charged with possession of a controlled substance. However, if so I would highly recommend fighting the charge or charges on the basis that you lacked both actual and constructive possession of any controlled substance. If charged with any type of drug offense, I recommend hiring a lawyer and not trying to resolve on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    You shouldn't unless your passenger said he was holding them for you or something like that. Be more careful with what people bring into your car, house and life. Those things can bite you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You may be charged, but you should be able to prevail. The police would need to prove you knew drugs were in the vehicle. It is important not to discuss case with anybody. If you have been charged you should get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You may be charged as well. If so, hire a good attorney and if all you say is true, you should be able to beat the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Probably not, but a lot depends on where you get stopped. In most places in Georgia, the police would normally arrest the only one that had the drugs.Other departments take an "arrest them all and let the judge sort them out" approach.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you are in a car, boat, or home with drugs everyone can be charged with "constructive possession" unless the drugs are actually possessed by another person. If the drugs were in his pocket you should not be charged and will beat the charges if you were charged unless you admitted that the drugs belonged to you or that you were using drugs while driving.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    It is unlikely that you would be cited unless you had the ability to possess and/or control the illegal contraband.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly. They can try to show that the drugs actually belong to you or to both of you. Then you're down for possession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    You could be charged with constructive possession of the drugs and you could also be charged with having a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS, drugs) in a Motor Vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You should not be.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Based on the facts you have told me, I would say you are in the clear. If your passengers had the drugs in your center console it would be different.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You could also be charges with possession because it was in your car.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    If the substance found was located on the other person and not in your vehicle, you likely won't face any consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No, if it is only on your passenger and he doesn't say he's holding it for you. But chances are he hides it in the seat when you get out of the car and then you guys have a stalemate and you are in SEROUS trouble. At least a felony, and probably a federal criminal case. Better trust your friend with your life.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    Not as long as it was in his pockets and there was no reason to believe that you had access and knowledge of the drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Not necessarily, but possibly, if you knew or he can infer you knew.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Most likely not. They would have to establish that you knew of the contraband or were somehow involved in his/her possession.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Probably not if the drugs were on your passenger; especially if they were hidden. As long as you couldn't access the drugs and didn't incriminate yourself you should be OK.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Not generally. One must be in care, custody, and control of the drugs. If they are found on your passenger, then you are not responsible. If they have proof that you were driving your passenger somewhere to deliver the drugs, then it is possible you could get into trouble.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Probably not unless they can prove that you were involved in the transportation of the meth.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Not if you did not know it was there and were not helping him possess or get it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    It is not uncommon for the DA to charge both persons.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    No unless they could establishthey were your drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    If the drugs were found on him only, probably not.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Yes - you be criminally charged as if the drugs were yours under the "constructive possession" doctrine as well as with a motor vehicle ticket for Possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and if you are found guilty of the ticket you would lose your license for 2-years.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Burdon and Merlitti
    Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
    If you are driving with a passenger that has drugs on their person (i.e. in their pockets), then as a general rule, you should not be charged. However, if the drugs are in a common area, such as the center/shifter area, then often times the police will charge everyone in the car.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You are asking for a definite answer about a situation which is basically unpredictable. It all boils down as to how the officer "sees" you. He could let you go or he could arrest you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    You could possibly be charged with "constructive possession" although unlikely, if some evidence indicated that you knoew the psseger had drugs OR you had access to the drugs! Best idea, tell friends to ditch the stash before getting into car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    If the drugs were on the person of the passenger, probably not. However, I have seen cases where both husband and wife were charged fro drugs in wife's purse, once even her bra! Of course there were additional facts there that led to these charges. The jury instruction says you are in possession of drugs if you have "dominion and right to control them"
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2011
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