Actual vs. Constructive Drug Possession in Arizona


Proof of possession is an important element prosecutors need after making a drug possession arrest. In Arizona, there are two types of possession – actual and constructive. It is important to understand the difference between these two when developing a strong defense.

Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession

Actual possession is when the state establishes the accused had drugs or weapons on his or her person during an unlawful search. Constructive possession is when a person is accused of “exercised dominion” or control over the drug or the location in which the drug was found. Since constructive possession is more circumstantial, it is more difficult for prosecutors to prove.

For example, suppose you and three other people were passengers in your friend’s vehicle, and the center console contained a bag of cocaine. The prosecutor could argue that all four people in the vehicle were in constructive possession of the cocaine bag.

How to Build a Strong Defense Against Possession

Since constructive possession is harder for prosecutors to prove, an experienced attorney may be able to help you argue that you were merely present at a location where a prohibited item was found. Mere presence is often insufficient to show that a defendant knowingly had control over the drug.

An experienced attorney can also help you get your charges reduced or dismissed, even if you are facing actual possession charges. Our team at Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C. has developed a strong defense on behalf of our clients facing even the most serious drug possession charges. We are well-versed in drug crime defense, and our lawyers have the experience to help you obtain a favorable outcome. The time immediately following a drug-related arrest is crucial. Before you talk to investigators or prosecutors, contact Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation. Let our Arizona drug possession attorneys help you.

Contact us today at (602) 842-6762 to schedule a consultation!

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