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How does a prosecutor prove constructive possession?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Constructive possession is a legal concept that refers to a court finding an individual to possess an illegal substance even though it may not be physically on their person. This concept occurs in drug possession cases where law enforcement finds drugs in a location that is not directly on the individual’s person.

Georgia Controlled Substances Code repeatedly refers to intent and knowledge regarding possession. Throwing away or hiding controlled substances is not enough to avoid a possession charge.

Circumstantial evidence

The individual has constructive possession of the substance if they have knowledge of its existence and the ability to control it. A prosecutor can prove this through circumstantial evidence such as the proximity of the drugs to the individual, the individual’s behavior and any statements made by the individual. For example, if police find drugs in a car and the individual is the only one in the car, they can receive a constructive possession charge.

Proximity and knowledge

One important aspect of constructive possession is that the individual must know about the drugs and the ability to control them. Mere proximity to the drugs is not enough. For example, it is more challenging to prove an individual knew about the drugs if police found the substance in a shared living space.

Constructive possession is a legal concept that allows prosecutors to charge individuals with possession even if the drugs are not found directly on their person. However, it is important to note that constructive possession requires proof of knowledge and control, and mere proximity to drugs is not enough.