To prove possession of a controlled substance, the state must show: 1) you knew about the presence of the drugs, and 2) the drugs were in your immediate and exclusive control. The police do not have to show you had the drugs on your person. Constructive possession is enough. For example, the drugs are in your closet and no one else has the keys to your home.

Since actual knowledge is difficult to prove, the state can infer that you knew about the narcotics from your acts, declarations or conduct.

While the state must show the drugs were in your immediate and exclusive control, the fact that others had access to your drugs may not be enough to get an acquittal. Possession may be held jointly. The police may charge you even if you really didn’t know about the drugs.

If you are charged with a narcotics offense, you should contact an attorney immediately. If you are placed under arrest, do not talk to the police and instead ask to speak with an attorney. An experienced attorney can determine whether the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights when they arrested you. An attorney can also guide you toward the best defense if your case should go to trial.