At Ryan Swingle Law, we have years of experience helping people fight against their illegal drug charges in Athens, GA.
While you cannot always control what a passenger brings into your vehicle, you can still get in serious trouble if they have an illegal substance on their person. There are severe consequences for having illegal substances in your vehicle, and whether or not you knew your passenger had them on their person, you can suffer some life-altering consequences, no matter how innocent you might be.
SOMEONE BROUGHT ILLEGAL DRUGS INTO YOUR CAR—WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?
Everyone in the car is responsible. Yes, everyone. If illegal substances are found in your car, anyone in that car can be held responsible, arrested, and charged with illegal drug possession. Even if you are not found in possession of the illegal drug, or drugs, you can still be charged with constructive possession.
UNDERSTANDING ACTUAL VS. CONSTRUCTIVE POSSESSION OF DRUGS
Constructive possession of drugs is when law enforcement believes you possess drugs even if they are not in your direct physical control. For example, when illegal substances are discovered in your vehicle, it is automatically assumed you accept some level of responsibility, even if the drugs found were the property of the other passengers. This type of drug possession charge is complex and can result in you facing criminal charges for drug offenses you never committed.
Actual possession of drugs occurs when the police find the drugs on you or in your personal belongings, and no one else has equal access to the substances found.
WHAT IF YOU CROSS STATE BORDERS?
The drug possession issues escalate if you move to other states while still possessing the drugs. Crossing state lines with illegal substances in your vehicle could aggravate the charges to a federal offense, and you could be charged with drug trafficking. To avoid trouble with law enforcement, be vigilant and seek to know what your friends bring into your vehicle.
SAYING NO TO YOUR FRIENDS OR PASSENGERS
Your friends might not inform you that they are bringing illegal substances into your vehicle, but in other instances, they may alert you. While it might not be easy, it is important to let them know you are uncomfortable with the idea of carrying illegal substances in your car. Here are some tips to help you handle the situation:
- Explain to your friends the risk of bringing drugs to the vehicle
- Be firm about your decision
- Do not give in to pressure or persuasion
If your friends are unwilling to comply with your rules, don’t let them in the car. There is always going to be another way for them to get where they need to go, but there might not be an easy way for you to get out of a drug charge if something is found in your vehicle. If you’re stuck on the hard road back to normalcy after a constructive or actual possession of drugs charge, call Ryan Swingle Law.
CONTACT AN ATHENS DRUG CRIMES ATTORNEY
At Ryan Swingle Law, we have years of experience helping people fight against their illegal drug charges in Athens, GA. Contact us online or call us at (706) 708-0827 to seek legal representation from our attorneys if you face an illegal drug case in Georgia.