If you were driving someone else’s car and the policefound drugs in the car but not on you, can you be charged?

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If you were driving someone else’s car and the policefound drugs in the car but not on you, can you be charged?

Asked on December 21, 2010 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Of course you could be charged if drugs are found in a car which you are driving--there is no law that says that drugs are presumed to belong only to the owner of a vehicle and not passengers, other drivers, etc. The issue is evidence, which includes forensic evidence (e.g. fingerprints) and testimony of various people (including you, the driver, etc.)--who does the evidence tend to suggest possessed the drugs? Note furthermore that more than one person may be charged with possession of a quantity or container of drugs, so its possible you and the owner would both be charged--giving you each an incentive to "drop a dime" on the other to try to escape, or at least reduce, punishment.


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