Can I be charged with possession of marijuana if I’m a passenger in someone’s car and marijuana is found? What does’possession’ mean under Illinois marijuana laws?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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In Illinois, as in most states, you can be charged with possession of marijuana if it is found in a car in which you are a passenger. However, if the marijuana was not found on your person and did not belong to you, you have a good defense against conviction in Illinois. Drivers of cars in which marijuana is found can also be charged with possession of marijuana, thanks to the legal concept of possession.

Possession in Illinois can be considered either physical or constructive. Physical possession is self-explanatory: the marijuana was found on your person. Constructive possession is a murkier legal concept that is open to challenge from an experienced defense attorney. Typically, constructive possession means that the person is exercising some degree of control over the object, even if not physically. Examples of constructive possession include marijuana found in the car trunk or your closet, and even when someone else is carrying marijuana on your behalf. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, consult an experienced Illinois criminal lawyer today to go over the circumstances of your arrest and determine your available defenses.

Follow this link for more information about Illinois Marijuana Laws and Illinois Medical Marijuana Laws

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