Sacramento, CA asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets, Appeals / Appellate Law and Civil Rights for California

Q: 3 passengers in vehicle get pulled over for front pass. No seatbelt ..front driver (registered owner vehicle ), myself f

Myself front pass. Rear passenger female..myself being on parole n probation upon search of myself I was honest n tforthcumin being in poss. Of very minute amt of narcotic that which would have not registered on a scale .upon exiting all pass. So a full search of vehicle be conducted officer locates an Oz. Of methamphetamine under front passdnger seat ..all 3 passengers deny such knowledge of said narcotics who should get da ticket of possession....???????

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, when narcotics are found in a vehicle and no one admits to ownership, law enforcement may charge the person they believe is most likely to be in possession based on the evidence. Factors include proximity to the drugs, admissions of ownership of other contraband, or prior convictions. Being on parole or probation may also influence an officer's decision.

However, actual possession isn't the sole basis for a charge; constructive possession can also be a basis if one has control over or the right to control the drugs. The registered owner of the vehicle or the person in control of the vehicle can sometimes be held responsible. However, it's not guaranteed that the person nearest to the drugs will be charged. Charges may change based on further investigation or evidence. If charged, it's essential to consult with legal counsel to evaluate the specifics and build a defense.

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