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What is unwitting possession?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Unfortunately, there are times that people who are not guilty get charged with crimes they did not commit. Sometimes, even a simple mistake can put you at risk for charges.

We understand how drug laws work in Texas and we have helped many of our clients with their drug defense charges. 

When the drugs found belong to someone else 

A common drug possession defense according to FindLaw, unwitting possession occurs when you did not know you were in the possession of drugs at the time that law enforcement found them. If a friend rides in your car, for example, and a packet of cocaine falls out of his or her pocket under the seat, you would have no idea that it was there. If an officer pulls you over later for speeding and you permit them to search your car, this could result in the officer finding those drugs and assuming they were yours. This example of unwitting possession is a valid defense against drug possession charges you may face as a result of the officer discovering the cocaine under the seat. 

Your rights when it comes to search and seizure 

You do have the right to tell an officer that they may not search your vehicle. In some cases, an officer may have you wait while they obtain a warrant to search your car. Until they have that warrant, however, they can only search your car if you permit them to do so. This is important when it comes to an officer finding drugs in your vehicle. Drugs that are in plain sight, meaning they are easily visible without searching your car, are admissible in court. Drugs obtained by searching your car without your consent, however, cannot serve as evidence in your case.