If the police found a but cocaine pipe and syringes in my car not in anybody’s possession, can I get charged for them?

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If the police found a but cocaine pipe and syringes in my car not in anybody’s possession, can I get charged for them?

Asked on April 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could be charged for them. To be charged, the authorities do not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed them--they just to show reasonable cause to think they were yours. And if it was your car, they have that.

In terms of later convicting you: if no one else was in the car at the time and on one else regularly drives or uses it, there's an excellent chance a jury would think that it's been proven to be yours beyond a reasonable doubt--the thinking would go as follows: your car, you control it, no body else in it, therefore the pipe, etc. was yours.

If there were other people in the car at the time, then it would be more difficult for the authorities to show the pipe and syringes were yours--as long as none of the other people testify against you.


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