Drugs in Your Car? That Could Be Possession
If police find drugs in your car, what happens? Regardless of whether they’re your drugs, in Colorado, they are now officially your problem.
Since your vehicle is your property, if law enforcement officers find illegal drugs in your vehicle, you can be considered to be “in possession” of them. It is no different from officers finding a bag of drugs in your pants pocket, or in a backpack you are wearing. This is why it is very important to be aware of who is bringing what into your car, because you are responsible for what you allow in your car. The government may not be able to prove who illegal substances belonged to originally, but it can certainly try to prove that you had them in your possession. Possession means more than having drugs on your person. If the drugs are in a place under your dominion and control then that may be enough for a jury to find you guilty of possession. See Patton v. People, 35 P.3d 124 (Colo. 2001); People v. Warner, 251 P.3d 556 (Colo. App. 2010).
Even drug paraphernalia could be enough to saddle you with a criminal charge, as having it in your car could be enough to warrant a citation for a class 2 petty offense according to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-428.
If you are ever stopped with drugs or related substances in your car, don’t hesitate. Call a lawyer immediately.
Defense Against Possession
Launching a defense against a possession charge involving narcotics can be difficult, and you need to have an experienced attorney by your side to handle the complex issues that can arise. There are a few avenues your attorney can explore in a possession case. One tactic includes challenging the legality and constitutionality of the search that the police conducted to recover the drugs.
You are perfectly able to state that you never knew about the drugs; that they were brought into your car by someone else and left there, but that doesn’t carry much weight with police or prosecutors. Even more troublesome is the fact that the truth may not be enough for judges, or juries. Even if it’s completely true, proving this can be very difficult. Do not try to defend yourself in this type of case – call a lawyer to represent you and defend your rights.
What About Marijuana?
With recreational marijuana being legal for people over the age of 21 in Colorado, it is no longer definitively illegal to have cannabis in your car. However, marijuana follows the same “open container” laws as alcohol, so any container with marijuana in your vehicle must be sealed. The safest bet is to keep it in your trunk to avoid any miscommunications over when it was last consumed.
If you or a loved one is accused of drug possession, do not put off finding representation. Call our team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., at (719) 475-2555 today. Our attorneys have the necessary experience to fight a drug possession accusation, have obtained positive results for past clients, and will mount a strong, aggressive defense to protect you and your future.