What if Drugs Were Found In My Car

In almost every instance if drugs are found in your car the police are going to charge you with possession of those drugs even if they weren’t yours. The police feel that because you are driving the car and have control over the things that are in the car you must have known that there were drugs in your car. In many cases, nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many reasons that would make it impossible for the State to prove that you possessed the drugs that were found in your car. The car may not be your car. You had borrowed the car or it was a family member’s car. The car is not registered to you. Someone else also has control over what is in that particular car. There may be other people in the car. Those other people have the same access to the areas of the car that you do. Drugs or contraband found in the car may be because someone else brought them into your car.

This is what is called “joint constructive possession”. When one or more people have access to a common area where drugs are found, whether it be a car or even a home, the court must dismiss the charges against you if there is no other evidence that ties you to the drugs. This is not the same as “constructive possession” where you might be found guilty because the drugs are found in your car in an area that is accessible to you, you are the registered owner of the car, and you are the only one in the car. Of course, “actual possession” is when the drugs are found on your person.

Unfortunately, you will still need to hire an experienced drug offense attorney to convince the State or the Judge that the drugs are not yours. It’s a legal argument that you are not equipped to deal with on your own. If drugs are found in the car you are driving it is imperative that you not make any statements that the drugs are your drugs because, without your admission, the State may be unable to prove that the drugs were yours.

Written by

Ray Lopez has practiced since 1990, with prior experience as a Hillsborough County assistant State attorney and lawyer for the Tampa Police Department. He handles all criminal charges, from traffic violations and misdemeanors to serious felonies and federal drug charges. He practices in all state and federal courts of the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, as well as criminal appeals, juvenile court, administrative hearings, and civil forfeiture proceedings.

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