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Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall

Developing a defense strategy for drug trafficking; possession

So many times I hear clients tell me, 'but the drug wasn't mine!'  Unfortunately, the government does not consider ownership when it charges an individual with possession.  In a drug trafficking case, the government must prove the individual possessed the drug.  There are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession.  Let's look at both types.

Actual possession is demonstrated when the drug is found on the individual.  You could be holding the drug, or it can be in your pocket, or purse, or wallet, etc., etc., The defense "but it wasn't mine" does not work in an actual possession case because it is the mere act of holding the drug which is illegal.  There are still defenses in an actual possession case, but those defenses are limited.

Constructive possession expands the scope of possession.  In a constructive possession case, actual possession of the drug cannot be shown, but there is a strong inference that actual possession has occurred.  In a constructive possession case, the government must show "conscious dominion" over the drug, i.e., the power to control the controlled substance and the intent to exercise that control.  In a constructive possession case, two or more people can possess the same drug.  There are more defenses in a constructive possession case.

In a drug trafficking case, whether you are in Centre County, Blair County, Lycoming County, Huntingdon County, Clinton County or Mifflin County, one of the elements that must be shown, is possession of the controlled substance. If you are charged with some kind of drug trafficking, hire the best lawyer.  Your future and your freedom depend upon it.  Hire the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall.  Go to to find out more.

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Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall
250 East Beaver Avenue
Suite 774
State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-308-0422
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