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Who can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia when there are 3 occupants in vehicle?

There was 3 of us in a car, coming home from a long weekend outing. We were about 30 minutes outside of town when a highway patrolman pulled me over for driving just a bit too fast. The officer said that he smelled weed in my vehicle, and instead of trying to hide it or lie, my friend in the back seat simply handed over what he had. The officer at that point said no one would be arrested, and I would simply be issued a ticket. Why would I receive the ticket for the possession of paraphernalia if it clearly, visibly belonged to the friend in the back seat?


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    Christopher G Humphrey | Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC
    P.O. Box 4216
    Cheyenne, WY 82003
    (307) 222-2448
    It is presumed to be yours because it is your car. Be careful who you have in your car.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming - Replied: 4/25/2013
    William R. Pelger | Pelger Law
    2108 West Street
    Munhall, PA 15120
    (412) 461-1900
    A "Ticket" (citation) is only issued for summary offenses, motor vehicle violations, etc. Possession of Paraphernalia is a misdemeanor. You are either going to get a speeding ticket (citation) in the mail or a summons for the drugs. Hope for the former, which is probably what will happen as the possession on you would be hard to prove given your buddy taking the blame.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania - Replied: 4/24/2013
    Randy M. Lish | Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law
    2155 N. Freedom Blvd.
    Provo, UT 84604
    (801) 235-9400
    The prosecutor can charge everyone in the vehicle, but they may not be able to prove everyone is guilty. If you did not know the drug paraphernalia was in the vehicle, or the paraphernalia was on the person of only one individual, you may have a good defense that would raise a reasonable doubt about your guilt.
    Answer Applies to: Utah - Replied: 4/24/2013
    Mel Dunn | Mel Dunn
    100 N. Center
    Casper, WY 82601
    (307) 267-7758
    It does not sound right unless the officer had other statements or evidence that you knew the marijuana was in the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming - Replied: 4/24/2013
    James Falk | Bush Law Group
    1 Broad Street
    Charleston, SC 29401
    (843) 300-1047
    Everyone in the vehicle can be charged provided the police believe that everyone had at least "constructive possession" of the items. In South Carolina someone has constructive possession of contraband if he/she "has dominion or control, or the right to exercise dominion or control over either the object or the premises upon which the object is located"
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina - Replied: 4/24/2013
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