Can I be charged with possession if it was not on me personally and it was in a vehicle that is not mine or even registered to me

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be charged with possession if it was not on me personally and it was in a vehicle that is not mine or even registered to me

I was pulled over for expired tags in Hays, KS.
They asked if they could search the car. When
they search the car they found drug
paraphernalia in a bag of clothes on the car
floorboard. The car is not registered to me nor
do I own it.

Asked on January 29, 2018 under Criminal Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged: if you were driving the car, then it is not unresonable at all that the drugs belonged to you--after all, people generally have various items of property (e.g. wallet, coat, handbag or gym bag or briefcase, keys, phone, etc.) in a car they borrow. That's not to say you will necessarily be convicted, since conviction requires proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" and there are potentially ways to interject doubt into the situation (such as if the clothing n the bag with the drugs was not yours, or if there are another person's fingerprints on the paraphrenalia), but to simply charge you just require "probably cause," which is fairly low standard of evidence or proof.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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