How best to fight a possession ticket for weed that was not in my possession?

Is it bad to defend myself in court? I am broke with no credit card. The “possession of marijuana” charge that I have is for marijuana that was not on my person, it was on the floor of my friend’s car, which the officer claimed was within my arm reach so I got the ticket. My court is tomorrow and I have no cash to pay a lawyer and no credit card to promise payments.

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The prosecutor will argue that you were in "Constructive possession" of the marijuana.  Generally if there is contraband in a vehicle and no one own's up to possession, then the district attorney can charge every single occupant.  If your friend who actually owned the weed confesses, then you will probably get the charges dismissed. 

Look up more information about "constructive possession" on the internet, represent yourself, plead not guilty, and ask for a jury trial.  The prosecutor might drop it just because they perceive its not worth the time and resources.  Best of luck.

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