At a first glance, it seems that the common-sense answer should be "No".
However, the law is not so much concerned with who
owns the drug but with who
possesses it. So for example, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony
for holding (i.e. possessing) someone else's meth. You can also be
convicted of a misdemeanor or felony even if someone else's meth is
not physically in your possession. How can that be? A prosecutor can legally
obtain a conviction based on the doctrine of "constructive possession".
To establish that you had "constructive possession" of the meth,
marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy or for that matter, any illegal substance,
the prosecutor must prove that you knowingly exercised a right to control
the drug either directly or through another person. For example, your
friend bought meth for his personal use but intends to share a portion
of it with you. You agree. You're the passenger in his car and the
baggie of meth is in his backpack. You know the meth is there because
he told you and you opened the backpack and saw the baggie. The car is
stopped by the police and after a search, the meth is discovered. The
police officer questions both of you. Your friend does not want to get
arrested, so he tells the officer that the meth is yours.
In this simple scenario, even if the meth is owned and possessed by your
friend (because he bought it and it's in his backpack), you also have
"constructive possession" of the meth because you knew it was
there and you had access to it. Both you and your friend can legally be
convicted of the crime of possession of a controlled substance in violation
of Health and Safety Code section 11377(a) or 11350(a).
If you have been charged with
possession of meth, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy or any controlled substance in Temecula,
Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar, Hemet, Corona, Perris, Banning
or Riverside, you need the assistance of an effective and experienced
criminal defense attorney. Call my office immediately to schedule a free
consultation directly with me.