If you lend your car to a friend who then gets pulled over and the police find drugs and paraphernalia, can you get charged for the drugs that were found?

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If you lend your car to a friend who then gets pulled over and the police find drugs and paraphernalia, can you get charged for the drugs that were found?

Asked on January 22, 2014 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged if there is evidence or reason to think that the drugs, etc. may have been yours. If the drugs, etc. were under the seat or otherwise hiden, the authorities could reasonably presume they belonged to the car's owner, not the person who borrowed it; or if the driver denies it was his and there is some credibility to him, again, they may presume that it was yours. This is not to say that you will ultimately be convicted--they may not have enough evidence to prove the case "beyond a reasonable doubt" at trial--but it takes much less evidence to arrest and charge someone than it would to convict them. Therefore, if drugs are found in your car, it is not at all unlikely that you may be charged.


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