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What is a constructive possession drug charge?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Drug possession in Florida typically involves an arrest and charge if someone is caught with drugs on them. However, if drugs are found in a car, in a home or somewhere else, then there may be a possible constructive possession charge.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of constructive possession then here’s what you should know:

Actual vs. constructive drug possession

A drug possession charge may be considered actual if someone is found to have a small amount of illegal substance for personal use and may have been sold or distributed. In the case of an actual drug possession charge, the defendant may knowingly possess the substance and knew about its illegal nature.

Alternatively, a roommate or someone you know may have been abusing or dealing drugs, unbeknownst to you, causing you to be charged with constructive possession – this can be harder to comprehend.

Constructive possession doesn’t require someone to have possession of a substance. Instead, a drug possession charge may be given because you had access to a room, vehicle or safe that had drugs. For example:

  • You were at home, which you share with a roommate, and police arrived with a warrant to search your home. They find drugs stored in the kitchen, bathroom or any other public space which may result in a constructive possession charge.
  • You and a friend share a safe which your friend uses to store drugs. There’s suspicion that the safe is used for hiding illegal substances and you’re charged with constructive possession because you had access to the safe.
  • You were driving a shared vehicle that had a substance hidden in the glove box. You were pulled over and police searched your car which resulted in them finding the unmarked, illegal drug. Since you were driving the car and had access to the drug, you may be charged with constructive drug possession.

A constructive drug charge can impact your life in many ways: fees, license suspension, probation and incarceration.

You shouldn’t let someone else’s mistake cause you to lose your life. You may need to reach out for legal help when building a defense against a drug possession charge.