Actual Possession and Constructive Possession: What’s the Difference?

Any drug charge in Virginia is bad, and you don’t want to receive one. The Commonwealth imposes harsh penalties for those who possess, sell, manufacture, or use drugs, including fines and jail time. You can even be charged with possession for just having drugs near you. As you may imagine, different charges incur different penalties, ranging from a slap on the wrist to a prison sentence.

If you were charged with drug possession, you were either charged with actual possession or constructive possession. Both are serious charges, however, do you know the difference between the two?

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

Before you walk into Norfolk General District Court to defend your drug charges, you’ll want to know what you are being charged with. Each of the following type of possession will require a different approach from a defense standpoint:

  • Actual possession. This type of possession is typically charged when drugs are found on your person. For instance, if drugs are found in your pocket, hidden somewhere on your body, in your hand, in your shoe, or anywhere else on your body, you could be found guilty of actual possession.
  • Constructive possession. Constructive possession refers to drugs that you are presumed to own, but that are not on your body, such as marijuana in the back seat of your car. Constructive possession means you know the drugs are where they are, you own them, and you possess domain over them. Drugs found in your home could fall under this type of possession. This is a much harder charge for the prosecution to prove.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Attempting to defend yourself against drug charges is often a no-win situation. The prosecution will have its best attorneys there to prove you are guilty. Do you feel comfortable going up against highly skilled and trained attorneys by yourself?

Instead of attempting to defend yourself, hire a legal team with experience on its side. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher can answer your questions regarding your case and want to find out if we can help. Contact us today by filling out our online form or by calling 757.625.1214.

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