Question

  04/30/13, 7:07 am
An ex roommate comes in unexpectedly and tells u to get out but your not on the lease drugs and alcohol have been brought to the apt but by guests residue was found and a blunt roach can u get charged with anything or does the lease holder get it ?
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United States   |   Pennsylvania  |  Criminal Law
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Answer

Jason Dunkle Says:

Apr 30,2013 1:15 PM

Drug and paraphernalia charges are "possession" based offenses. The issue is what constitutes "possession". Actual possession means that it is in your hands or on your person, so not applicable to your case. Constructive possession is defined as the ability to exercise dominion or control of an object. Good example - in a vehicle, in the cup holder/center console between driver and passenger, there is a small amount of marijuana. Police stop car, police can charge both driver and passenger. While driver may own vehicle, the passenger could clearly see the marijuana and could have grabbed it, meaning could have "exercised dominion or control of the item." In such a case, the police can charge both people with possession. In your situation, the fact that a person is on the lease or not is a factor for the police to consider, but they can charge people with possession that do not own or control a property. Admittedly, in many situations, the police do charge based upon whether or not a person has control or authority over an area, but that factor is not determinative. If you are present and found relatively close by, you could easily be charged with possession.

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Jason Dunkle
JD Law, P.C.
204 East Calder Way, Suite 306,State College, PA 16801
814-954-9622
http://www.mystatecollegelawyer.com

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