I drive a crew van for a company in Ohio. We cross state lines frequently. If I get stopped and my passengers have drugs on them, am I in trouble?

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I drive a crew van for a company in Ohio. We cross state lines frequently. If I get stopped and my passengers have drugs on them, am I in trouble?

A passenger in my crew van is transporting
drugs without my knowledge. I get stopped by
police and the van is searched. If drugs are
found, am I liable?

Asked on November 10, 2018 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are only liable if you had a criminal intent, or "mens rea"--i.e. if you knew you were helping to transport drugs.
Practically, even if you did not know, if the evidence or the testimony of the passengers (for example: they try to save themselves by claiming the drugs are yours) tends to show or suggest that you did know or even owned the drugs, you could end up being charged.


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