Court Discusses Constructive Possession in Drug Case
A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said the defendant was found not guilty on a charge of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, but was convicted on the other count made against him of possession of marijuana. The defendant argues that the court made an error by not granting his motion for acquittal as the evidence for the charge was insufficient.
The conviction of the defendant was for constructive possession and not actual possession. The only evidence that was submitted in regard to the charge of possession of marijuana was that the defendant was alone in the car at the time he was arrested and a later search of the car revealed a marijuana cigarette. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the officer who conducted the search did not remember where it was found and did not note in the inventory of the car where the joint was found.
Since the conviction is for constructive possession the state must prove that the accused had control over the contraband, that the accused knew the contraband was within his presence, and have knowledge that the contraband was illegal.
A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said in this case the fact that the defendant was the sole driver and occupant of the vehicle is sufficient evidence to show that he possessed the vehicle, which creates the inference of dominion and control over the contraband. The court must then assume that he knew the substance was illegal and knew that it was in the car. This is sufficient evidence to confirm the conviction for constructive possession.
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