Constructive Possession Explained & Outlined
What is constructive Possession?
Many individual’s hear the word possession and automatically believe that they must be in physical contact with the item in question for it to be considered “possession.” However, in the legal word possession can also occur through a concept known as “constructive possession.”
The extension of possession without actually having possession of the item in questions is constructive possession. This means that an individual can be charged with a possession crime even though he or she may not actually and physically possess the criminal item or thing at the time of the alleged incident, i.e. constructive possession. Constructive possession can occur if the individual being charged has control or dominion over the thing or item in question.
Meaning, for example, an individual who owns and holds the only key to a security box would always have possession or constructive possession over the box. Therefore, if contraband were found inside the box then the owner could be charged for the contraband through constructive possession because he would be the only individual who has access or could control what goes in and out of the box. However, there must still be proof shown that the individual owner knew of the contents or existence while having sole access to the alleged item(s).
The theories of possession, and thus constructive possession, vary according to statute and the particular item of contraband in question. For example, a conviction for felony-firearm under Michigan law requires knowledge of the firearm and the firearm being reasonably accessible to the defendant, and thus constructive possession is only a piece of the whole pie. However, for a controlled substance charged, an individual can or could be convicted of a possession charge simply by having it in his house, if he were the sole owner and knew of the substance, i.e. constructive possession of the contraband.
So in the end, constructive possession cases that bring about criminal possession charges will be case-by-case dealings. They will revolve around the circumstances of each individual’s case. Make sure to contact a criminal defense attorney whenever you are faced with a criminal misdemeanor or felony here in the State of Michigan. Remember, Josh Jones handles all criminal matters in Genesee County, Metro Detroit, Washtenaw County, Lapeer County and Livingston County.
PLEASE DO NOT RELY upon any of the information contained in this article or on the internet when attempting or trying to represent yourself within a court of law. You should and must always consult with an attorney before relying upon any written advice, article, blog, etc.