Can I be charged with possession of marijuana in Pennsylvania if I’m a passenger in someone’s car and marijuana is found? What does’possession’ mean under Pennsylvania’s 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 16, 2021

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In Pennsylvania, a passenger in a car in which marijuana is found can be charged with possession of marijuana, even if the marijuana did not belong to them. However, if the marijuana was not theirs and was not found on their person, there is a greater chance the passenger will not be charged with possession, and the passenger has a better defense if they are indeed charged.

The driver of the car can also be charged, even if the marijuana did not belong to them. This is due to the legal concept of constructive possession. In Pennsylvania, possession can be either physical or constructive. This means that you can be considered in possession of something, such as marijuana, if it is physically on your person or if it is constructively under your control. Constructive possession means that even if the marijuana was not on your person, you still had control over it (e.g. the marijuana was in the trunk of the car you were driving, or was in your closet). Prosecutors can charge you with constructive possession even if the marijuana was found on another person and it can be proved that you were ordering that person to do something with it. A good lawyer will be able to fight such a charge, however. You should talk to an experienced Pennsylvania marijuana lawyer or Pennsylvania criminal attorney and inform them of the circumstances of your arrest today.

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

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