Can I Be Arrested for Drugs That Aren’t Mine?

According to statistics from the Texas Crime Report, there were 128,295 total arrests for drug abuse violations statewide in 2019. Drug possession is a serious crime that is often punished severely in the state of Texas. Whether you knew about the controlled substances or not, you may be held responsible for constructive possession for having drugs in your vicinity or control but not on your person.

If you have been arrested and charged for drugs that aren’t yours, it is imperative to retain an aggressive Texas criminal defense attorney to help build your defense. Tom Cox is dedicated to handling criminal cases and defending clients facing drug crimes charges, including constructive possession. Using his extensive experience, he will fight vigorously to defend your rights, find and exploit weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and dispute the allegations against you with overwhelming evidence. The Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox proudly represents clients across Dallas, Grand Prairie, Irving, University Park, and Mesquite, Texas.

Understanding Constructive Possession

Constructive drug possession can be described as a non-physical possession that occurs when an offender has controlled substances or illicit drugs in their vicinity or under their care and control, but not physically on them. Even when the controlled substances are not in your exclusive possession, you could still be facing serious drug possession charges. 

For example, say a law enforcement officer stopped a Lyft or Uber driver for rolling through a stop sign. The police officer requested to be allowed to search the car, and the driver consented. During the stop and search, the officer found methamphetamine in the car and arrested the driver. However, the drugs actually belonged to a passenger he had just dropped off. Under Texas laws, a person with constructive possession will be treated similarly to someone with actual possession.

Elements Required to Establish Constructive Possession

In order to establish constructive possession charges in Texas, the prosecutor must show that the following elements are present:

  • The defendant had actual knowledge the controlled substances were present; and
  • The defendant maintained dominion and control over the illicit drug.

However, in order to prove “actual knowledge,” the prosecutor must establish:

  • That the defendant knew or was aware that the controlled substances were present based on the available evidence
  • That the defendant knew or should have known that the drugs were illegal

If the prosecutor can show that these elements existed and other incriminating facts, they may be able to establish that the defendant had constructive possession of the controlled substance.

Incriminating Facts

There are some incriminating facts which may typically link a defendant and a controlled substance. These include:

  • The illicit drugs were found in plain view.
  • The defendant owned the place or property where the controlled substances were found.
  • The illicit drugs were found among the offender’s personal items.
  • The law enforcement officer found the drugs in the defendant’s bedroom while searching their home.
  • The defendant showed suspicious behavior, conduct, or actions during the arrest.
  • The police officer found the drugs within the defendant’s immediate proximity while searching their car.

These incriminating factors can establish a link between the defendant and the controlled substance. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the defendant is guilty of the allegations against them. A skilled criminal defense attorney can review all of the surrounding facts of your case and determine your best defenses.

Contact the Law Office of Thomas R. Cox

Drug crime charges in Texas are very serious issues and usually result in severe penalties and devastating, life-long ramifications. Simply telling the law enforcement officer, “Those drugs aren’t mine,” may not be enough to get you out of trouble. Therefore, when facing constructive drug possession allegations, retaining a highly skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial to protect your rights and outline an effective defense for your unique situation.

Tom Cox has the resources and experience to defend and represent clients in drug law violation matters. As your legal counsel, he will evaluate and investigate all the surrounding facts of your case thoroughly and determine your best defense strategy. Tom Cox will explain your situation to the District Attorney’s office in a way that improves the prosecutor’s understanding and maximizes your chances of a favorable outcome in your case.

Using his extensive legal understanding, Tom Cox can help you navigate the Texas criminal justice system and represent you in every phase of the legal proceedings. He will fight vigorously on your side to protect your legal rights, refute the accusation against you with factual evidence, and attempt to get your charges dismissed or ultimately reduced.

Facing constructive drug possession charges can be scary. This is why you shouldn’t face it alone. Contact The Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a knowledgeable drug crimes defense attorney. The firm proudly represents clients across Dallas, Grand Prairie, Irving, University Park, and Mesquite, Texas.


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