Asked in Criminal Law for Oklahoma

Q: If I were to get in a car with the understanding there wasn't anything in the car and find out way late is it possession

I asked my ride to leave anything illegal before we left my house she said she would not bring anything wasn't til I was 70 miles from home when she broke out a pipe . we was picked up by police

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3 Lawyer Answers
Keegan Kelley Harroz
Keegan Kelley Harroz
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: The law presumes thy you are responsible for the contents of the vehicle you are riding in. However, I have won cases like this in front of a jury. This is a very tough situation to be in and you need to hire a good defense attorney to fight your case.

Tracy Tiernan agrees with this answer

Tracy Tiernan
Tracy Tiernan
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: The state of Oklahoma will often assume that all occupants are in possession of whatever illegal contents are found after the search of a car in which they are riding during a traffic stop. They routinely charge multiple occupants in such situations with possession of the same contraband. The good news is it's a Trier of Fact (a jury of your peers), not the district attorney or the judge, that can ultimately listen to your story. They tend to be a bit less cynical and more willing to Grant a defendant the benefit of the doubt. However, factors such as previous convictions for a similar drug (previous felony convictions at all), can certainly affect your credibility in the eyes of even the jury in relating your story.

The fact that you knew this person to be a drug user, as evidenced by your pre-trip lecture admonishing them not to have anything illegal in the car, might be viewed as your having assumed the risk that they were might lie to you. You need to hire an attorney and allow him to explain the extenuating circumstances to the judge and the district attorney.

Stephen LeRoy Cale
Stephen LeRoy Cale
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: In order to be guilty of a possession crime, you have to knowingly and intentionally possess the item (drugs, drug paraphernalia, etc.).

The law recognizes two kinds of possession, actual possession and constructive possession.

A person who knowingly has direct physical control over a thing, at a given time, is then in actual possession of it.

A person who, although not in actual possession, knowingly has the power and the intention at a given time to exercise dominion or control over a thing, is then in constructive possession of it.

The possession prohibited by the law is not only that of actual physical custody of a controlled dangerous substance but also the constructive possession of it.

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