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Photo of Ian F. Mann

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We have deep ties to the community, we have represented clients in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years.

Can a vehicle passenger receive a drug possession charge?

When you get in the car with your friend and realize that there are drugs present, you might want to think twice about going along for the ride. Even if you feel safe in knowing that the drugs do not belong to you, a police officer might not see things your way if you and your friend become the subject of a roadside search.

Drug possession is a sensitive area of criminal law, especially for individuals who feel wrongly accused. It is important to understand the law and learn what you can do if you receive a drug charge for substances that do not belong to you.

What is the law regarding drug possession?

The Florida statutes on drug possession explain that it is illegal to possess, dispense or deliver certain substances without a medical prescription. When police officers find an unlabeled drug container in a vehicle with multiple passengers, they can opt to arrest everyone present on the basis of constructive possession. This means that unless there is sufficient evidence establishing one person as the owner, the law recognizes each individual who has access to an illegal substance in the vehicle as a possessor.

What can you do if you receive a drug charge?

Having a criminal charge on record can lead to far-reaching consequences in your personal and professional life. To avoid wrongful punishment for someone else’s actions, your best option is to build a strong criminal defense and prove that you are not guilty of drug possession.

You can receive a drug possession charge as a passenger, even if there are drugs present in communal areas that you cannot see. Make sure to verify that no illegal substances are present in the trunk, glove box or anywhere else before accepting a ride from a friend.


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