This is how people can get charged with possessing something that it's in a car when there may be several people in a car.

The law prohibits the possession of a controlled substance - such as marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Possession has a specific meaning under the law; not surprisingly, that definition is not the same one used in everyday life.

You probably figured out there are no easy answers in cases like this. Guilt or innocence depends on the specific facts of the case. For this reason, it is extremely important to obtain a drug possession lawyer who has experience with drug cases and fully understands the law of possession.

Remember that the job of a police officer is to just see if there's enough evidence to charge someone with an offense, not necessarilyLaws on Possession of Drugs in Texas enough evidence to establish guilt so it's not uncommon in drug cases. Just take the case of marijuana possession. For example, if there are three people in a car and there's marijuana that's visible, all three are going to pick up a marijuana possession charge.

You may be able to successfully argue that you weren't in possession and that somebody else was, but you're probably still gonna get arrested for it.

What Is the Law On "Possession"?

In Texas, law possession means "care, custody or control" over something. Custody is fairly straightforward and means what you would think it means. The other two terms, however, are somewhat broader than the normal understanding. This is an important issue when drugs are found somewhere other than on your person. The most common situations are drugs found in a car, or in a house.

No matter what the substance is, the law prohibits "possession". Possession has a specific meaning, and it is not limited to ownership. Ownership is generally limited to one person; for example, only one person generally owns a car or some other item of property. Possession is different, though, and more than one person can possess something. The legal definition is "care, custody or control." In most drug cases, the issue comes down to who had access to the drugs. 

So, when you're looking at the question of possession, remember it doesn't mean ownership, it doesn't mean actual physical control, it doesn't mean that it has to be on you. You can still possess something, even if it's not on your person or in your clothing, or if you're not holding on to it.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.