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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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