Can I be Charged With Drug Crimes Even When the Police are Investigating Something Else?

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 of ammunition

3. Since his home was located near a high school, his punishment will be more severe.

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.

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