If I was at a party with 6-8 other people and a bag of pot was on the table when the police came in, can I be charged with possession?

UPDATED: Mar 3, 2015

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If I was at a party with 6-8 other people and a bag of pot was on the table when the police came in, can I be charged with possession?

Or if there was paraphernalia in the apartment, in which I did not live, but because I was the last to touch it (I put it away in the owner’s bedroom), can I be charged with possession?

Asked on March 3, 2015 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged if there is probable cause to think that you possessed it. Being in the apartment--or even the room, as it appears from what you write--where the drugs were found and also touching (and presumably therefore having your fingerprints on) drug paraphernalia could easily provide sufficient probable cause to charge you. It might not be enough to convict you ultimately--though with fingerprint evidence, and if anyone tries to save themself by testifying that it's your drugs, they may well have enough--but it could certainly support being charged in the first place.

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