The Charge Of Simple Possession Of Drugs

Mitch Engel explains what is meant by the charge of simple possession of drugs.

The term “possession” encompasses two elements that must be proved by the Crown when they’re proceeding on a charge of possession of a drug. The Crown must prove “knowledge” and “control.” That means that the person who is charged with possession of a drug has to “know” that they’re in possession of it and they then have to have “control” over it.

For example, if you are a passenger in a vehicle and drugs are observed by the police inside the vehicle in plain view,, then that usually takes care of the element of knowledge. However, the Crown would find it difficult to prove that you were in control of the drugs, because if you are a passenger in a car as opposed to the driver, then typically you have no control over the car. On the other hand, if you’re the driver of a car and there are drugs inside the vehicle clearly visible to all, then, again, the element of knowledge is easily proved. In terms of control, the driver of the car is usually deemed to be in control of its contents. In this case, both of the elements of possession are present.

As well, one is presumed to have knowledge and control of drugs that are found on your person.

The charge of possession of a drug is not dependent upon the quantity. You could be in possession of 1/10 of a gram of a certain drug or it could be a pound of the same drug; it doesn’t matter. Possession is simply that you have knowledge and control of the drug.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Oshawa,Ontario Region, contact Mitch Engel Barrister & Solicitor for a consultation.

This article is taken from a January, 2009 interview with Mitch Engel, Criminal Lawyer with Mitch Engel Barrister & Solicitor, Oshawa, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.