You would think that if the police come out for one purpose that they are
not allowed to search your home and arrest you for other reasons. Unfortunately,
that is not the case. Just ask the
Lake Elsinore man under arrest by the Riverside County Sheriff's department.
The sheriff's department was called to investigate a report of domestic
violence, but the man was taken into custody because there were jars containing
marijuana in the home. As mentioned in a
prior blog post, by law, an arrest and charge can be made for
drug crimes even if you are not physically holding the drug in question. In the case
of the Lake Elsinore man, the marijuana was not in his physical possession;
it was inside jars.
Since the original investigation was for suspicion of spousal abuse, he
was not the only person residing in the home. An argument can be made
that the jars were owned by someone other than himself. However, the law
is not so much concerned with "ownership", but with who has
"constructive possession" of the jars. In other words, he was
in constructive possession if he knew that the jars were in his home and
he had access to them. Legally, this man could face a conviction for possession
of marijuana in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11357.
To make matters worse, there were other circumstantial issues which compound
this person's situation.
1. He could be simultaneously charged of a crime of violence (suspicion
of spousal abuse)
2. He was in constructive possession of multiple firearms and large amounts
3. Since his home was located near a high school, his punishment will be
Each of these circumstances will have a substantial effect on the sentence
he will receive.
Are you facing charges for illegal drug crimes in Temecula, Murrieta, Lake
Elsinore, Wildomar, Menifee, Perris, Banning, Hemet, Corona or Riverside
areas? If so,
contact me immediately for a free consultation. I am an experienced attorney located
near the Southwest Justice Center, and I, personally, handle all cases
from start to finish ensuring you have the best service.