Actual possession v. Constructive possession.

Criminal Attorney discusses constructive possession.

Ladies and gentleman, my name is Mark Rollins. I’m a criminal lawyer here in Washington, D.C. I also practice in the state of Maryland. Today, we’re going to be talking about actual versus constructive possession. You typically find actual constructive possession cases in relation to guns and drugs. Those are where you find most of cases dealing with actual constructive. So, you’re asking yourself, what is actual, what is … actual possession and what is actual constructive possession. Well, you know what possession means. I mean, that’s actually, you’re holding something, you have something. Now, when you’re actually in possession of it, such as … I’m going to show you this black phone right here … that I’m actually in possession of the phone.

Now, if I put the phone down for a minute, I’m … and I put it down here to my side, and it’s in my view, but I don’t actually, physically have it, and I put it down over here, I’m in what they call constructive possession of that phone. Now, in order to prove constructive possession, the government typically has to prove 3 things, and that is that you knew that it was there … I knew the phone was over there, I had the power of exercise control over dominion of the phone, in other words, I could walk over there and grab it; its proximity is close to me, and I intended to do so. So, where do these cases really come about? You typically find these cases dealing with guns and drugs in the car, and 3 individuals, 4 individuals maybe in the car, and they find one gun. And they, typically, the government will try to charge all 3 or 4 individuals in the car. And their theory of charging all 3 or 4 individuals in the car is constructive possession, because they’re basically going to try to show those 3 things. That the defendants knew it was there, they had the power to excise control or dominion over it, and they intended to do so.

Now, a good defense attorney’s going to challenge those three elements and is going to try to tear those 3 elements down, that there’s no way that the person knew or had excised control or intended to excise control over that property. And so, if you want someone to challenge your case, and you need someone to look at the facts of your case and say, hey this sounds like a constructive possession case. I wasn’t actually in possession of it, and yet they charged me with it. You would actually want to hire a criminal lawyer to come in there and help you with that. We can help you with that. Please feel free to call us, and I hope this video helps. Stay tuned and subscribe to our channel. Thanks.