Q: Can a passenger be charged with contraband found during an inventory search in California?
I was pulled over and refused to consent to the officer searching my car. So he impounded it for expired registration and did an inventory search. He found an oz of meth in the back seat on the passenger side of the car where my boyfriend was sitting. He arrested and charged my boyfriend with possession of a controlled substance. My boyfriend did not admit the drugs were his. They actually belonged to his friend who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Since it was an "inventory search" can they charge my boyfriend who was a passenger and the car did not belong to him.
A: The short answer "yes". With that being said, there's a lot of factors that go into defending a case like this. You may want to contact a local attorney to determine whether your boyfriend has any viable defenses against these charges.
BUT YES, THEY COULD CHARGE EVERYONE......HOWEVER, IT PROBABLY WILL NOT STICK FOR EVERYONE.
THE DRIVER IS USUALLY CONSIDERED TO BE AWARE OF ANYTHING ILLEGAL IN THE CAR.
CALL A LOCAL LAWYER OR EXPLAIN TO YOUR PUBLIC DEFENDER.
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