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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27419
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was recently caught in Mississippi for possession of

Customer Question

I was recently caught in Mississippi for possession of Marijuana. In the State 30 grams and above is a felony and anything under is a Misdemeanor. Me and my friend were caught in the same car each with our own bags of weed under 30 grams, my friend also had pills that he already confessed were his. This is where it gets tricky. After bringing me and my friend into jail they decide to charge me for the possession of his marijuana as well as the possession of his pills (which he claimed were his and not mine). When they charged me with the possession of his marijuana as well it upgraded me from one misdemeanor to a felony and another misdemeanor for pills that were not mine. What rights do I have?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


You're being charged for the whole lot under a theory of constructive possession. That is, all of the drugs were in the car. You and your friend were also in the car, and everyone in the car can be charged with possession if they all could have had access to the drugs and could potentially share it.

Like any other legal presumption, the theory can fall when when the evidence comes out. So the fact that your friend confessed that the pills were just his would, if believed beyond a reasonable doubt, ultimately acquit you of that charge. Similiarly, if a jury believed that all the marijuana in the car was not meant to be shared, you'd ultimately only have to worry about beating the misdemeanor.

You need a lawyer for this case. You have the right to one, as well as the right to challenge the evidence and to confront the witnesses against you at hearings and trial, and to put the state to its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

People who ask "What rights do I have?" usually don't want to get a lecture on the Constitution. THey typically have a specific question in mind that they want to know. If I have not already answered that, please reply here on this question thread and let me know your actual question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have two questions. Will I be charged for the pills if he confessed they were his? And can they charge me for his weed if mine and his were in separate bags and his was in a cooler in the back of the car I had no idea about
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Yes. You can be charged for the whole shooting match under the doctrine of constructive possession. In legal terms, possession doesn't mean ownership. It doesn't even mean you have to have it on your person. It only means that you are in a position to be able to take custody and control over it if you wanted to.

Sometimes when a co-defendant confesses to possession of some contraband the prosecutor believes him. Sometimes the prosecutor doesn't. That's usually based on the unique facts and circumstances of the case. If, for instance, this was your car and your cooler, it would be expected that you know what's in there. The prosecutor would still have to prove your knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you, but the law allows you to be charged with it. There's a much, much lower standard of proof needed to charge someone than to convict him.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what can my friend do so I don't get charged for the pills or his pot. It was all in his car and I didn't know it was in there?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You can hire a lawyer and fight the case. That's all any defendant can do when charged with a crime.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.