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Can I be charged for someone else’s marijuana in my car?

I was pulled over last night for a broken tail light, and during this stop, the officer noticed a small bag of marijuana on my car floor. The marijuana was under 1 gram. The marijuana was also not mine, but a friends who was also in the car. The friend spoke for the marijuana, however, I was ticketed because I was the owner of the vehicle. Can I fight this charge since the marijuana was not mine?

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    Kate L. Mesic | Law Offices of Kate Mesic, PA
    1912 Hamilton Street, Suite 204
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    (904) 388-4030
    Florida drug possession law is complicated. There is constructive and actual possession. You need to hire an attorney or ask for a public defender who can evaluate the case for you. The question becomes was your friend also charged with Possession? Where was the marijuana found? And there are many more important questions.
    Answer Applies to: Florida - Replied: 4/11/2013
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    COEUR D ALENE, ID 83814
    (208) 665-5658
    Two people can be charged with possession of contraband. The state can prove possession two ways: actual possession, say the marijuana is found in your hand when the police contact you, or by 'constructive' possession. Constructive possession can be proven if the state has evidence that you 1) knew it was marijuana, 2) knew it was in the car, and 3) had the 'power and intention to control' the bag of marijuana. Marijuana found in a car is a perfect example. Two people are in a car that is stopped for a cracked taillight and the officer finds marijuana in the car on the floorboard. The passenger admits it was his, but the driver says that he used the marijuana in the bag just a little while ago, knew it was marijuana, and knew it was in the car. If there were statements made that you knew the marijuana to be marijuana, knew it was in the car, and had exerted some control over the marijuana, the state has enough evidence to take to the jury to ask them to find you guilty of possession. However, if there is no evidence that you knew any marijuana was in the car and you were merely giving someone a ride, that is a much more difficult case to prove. Rather like a father letting his son drive the family car one night, then getting pulled over the next day on the way to work (and, yes, this has happened) when the cops find marijuana under the passenger seat and arrest dear old dad - though dad had no idea sonny and his friends accidentally left weed in the car the night before. Dad did not possess marijuana though it was in his car and he was driving and son was five miles away at school when dad was pulled over. You should retain an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are preserved and you don't end up with a conviction that should not be on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho - Replied: 4/9/2013
    R. Jason de Groot | R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    Deltona, FL 32728-5775
    (386) 337-8239
    Yes, you can fight the charge, with a privately retained attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida - Replied: 4/9/2013
    William L. Welch, III | William L. Welch, III Attorney
    111 South Calvert Street
    Baltimore, MD 21045
    (410) 385-5630
    Yes, anyone might be charged, regardless of whether he or she has in fact broken the law. Of course, it is likely that contraband in something that a person owns is likely to belong to the owner. An attorney can assist you with evaluating the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to plea bargain or go to trial. If you were to be found guilty, then an attorney can assist you with presenting mitigation, allocution, and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence. and a recommendation for a more lenient sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland - Replied: 4/8/2013
    Henry Lebensbaum | Henry Lebensbaum
    46 Lovejoy Rd
    Andover, MA 01810
    (978) 807-6512
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts - Replied: 4/8/2013
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