If a house I was in was raided by the police with a warrant to pick up a fugitive, are they also allowed to charge me for drug paraphernalia?

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If a house I was in was raided by the police with a warrant to pick up a fugitive, are they also allowed to charge me for drug paraphernalia?

The pipe was found in a room I was laying down in at the time of the raid. When the police asked who would claim responsibility for the pipe all I said was I’d claim responsibility because it was in the room with me. Is that enough to find me guilty? Also, isn’t the warrant just to pick up a fugitive?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes. During a valid police raid with a valid search warrant, the police officer's have a limited right to detain persons in the house to determine their identity, and during the search, if illegal items (particularly open items found on tables or out in the public) such as drugs, paraphernalia and weapons are found, you can be charged. The issue at trial comes down to whether or not you indeed possessed the items.


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