How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Len Your Own Question
Len, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 444
Experience:  15 years practice in criminal and employment law.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Len is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My boyfriend was arrested this past Monday night. He is currently

Customer Question

My boyfriend was arrested this past Monday night. He is currently being charged with 2 felony counts. Felony possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and felony possession of cocaine with the intent to sell. Now I know this must sound like he is this big time drug dealer and that is how the police are making it seem. But he was actually just the passenger of a car and while he did have some marijuana that he was smoking in his possession he did not know about the cocaine in the car. The driver was also charged with the same counts including a misdemeanor
My intention is to obviously help him in any way that I can and of course the best result would be no actual jail time. How do we go about proving the cocaine in the car was not something he was aware of? And does that effect sentencing? Since that charge has the most severe penalty - and the one that really he shouldnt be charged with how can that be fought?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Len replied 7 years ago.


In most state, a person must have effective custody and control over the drugs in order to be in "possession". A passenger in a car is usually deemed to have constuctive possession.


The only way to avoid prosecution in this situation is for the driver to fully admit that the drugs were his, that the passenger had nothing to do with it, and the passenger did not know they were in the car. At some point (with a lawyer), your boyfriend will have to explain the situation.


Here's the problem, prosecutors are reluctant to believe these stories, because they assume it's just one party to a crime trying top help out a buddy. Both versions will have to make sense given the circumstances.


All of this would impact sentencing greatly, especially if the charges are dropped or reduced.


Your boyfrind will have to discuss all of this with his attorney. He absolutely should not talk about it with anyone else, not the police, no one other than his attorney. If at all possible, I would recommend that you work towards hiring a good private attorney that has experience in the court that your boyfriend will appear. Those relationships are invaluable.


I hope this helps.





Related Criminal Law Questions