Whether for drugs, counterfeit money, stolen goods, proceeds of crime, weapons, and guns, a common offence is the charge of “Possession”.
- I was arrested for possession but I did not have the item on me –can I be charged with possession?
The police can charge someone for having actual physical possession and they can charge someone with constructive possession. Constructive possession is where there is not actual physical contact but it is in a place, such as a car, house, bag, that you may have control over. It may look like you have control over a place if your clothes are in the room, your identification is near, or you or someone else has stated that it is your room. The Crown has to prove knowledge and control of the item.
- Do I have to know that the item found is, (such as illegal drugs, or counterfeit) to be charged?
No you do not. You can be charged if found with the item.
- I was in a car, with friends, and the car was stopped by police and weapons and/or drugs were found, but they were not mine.
The police can charge all occupants of the car, with possession, on the assumption that everyone knew about the items and consented to being in the car with these items. The police have to have reasonable grounds to believe that everyone had knowledge. This does not meet the test of beyond reasonable doubt that a Crown Attorney has to prove at trial.
- If I deny that the items found were mine, will the police drop the charge(s)?
Sometimes, but usually the police wait for a Crown attorney to make that call.
- My co-accused, or friend will come forward and state that the items are theirs not mine. Will the police/Crown drop the charges?
It depends. The Crown may ask for a sworn statement from the owner or you to prove ownership. However, the Crown can also continue the charge(s) against you.
This post is for general information only and is not legal advice. If you have been charged contact our office at 416-469-3443 as soon as possible.