Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
What Happens If the Police Find Drugs That Aren't Mine?

What Happens If the Police Find Drugs That Aren't Mine?

Information This Blog Will Cover:

  • When Drugs Are Found in Your Car/House
  • Who Gets Charged If the Drugs Aren't Mine?
  • Florida Drug Possession Penalties
  • Proven Drug Possession Defenses

You’ve been arrested for possession. Whether or not the drugs belong to you, your future is on the line. Below, our team discusses why you could be found guilty for drug possession—even if you’re innocent. We'll look at what happens if someone gets pulled over in your car with drugs, or if you could be charged with possession even if you had nothing on you!

We'll also share some of the tactics Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. can use to get your charges dropped or acquitted.

Here’s what you need to do right now:

Because the prosecutor is already building the case against you, you need to discuss your case with an experienced drug crime lawyer as soon as you have been arrested. The team at Rudenberg and Glasser has handled thousands of criminal cases in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, so you can trust that we know what it takes to win a difficult drug possession case.

Contact our office today for a confidential, no-cost consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call (954) 543-1788 as soon as possible!

"What If the Police Find Drugs in my Car/House?"

Unless you can prove on the spot that you weren't the only person with access to the car or house, you'll be suspect #1. Without evidence that the drugs belong to someone else, you're the one who'll be facing arrest. The best thing you can do is do not resist arrest, remain respectful, identify yourself as much as you're legally required, and remain silent about everything else. Even innocent people have faced charges for saying the wrong thing to the police.

While you are well within your rights not to speak to the police, you're still legally obligated to share your name and basic identifying information. Past that, you have (and should use) the right to remain silent.

If the police attempt to search you, your car, or your home, make sure you state clearly "I do not consent to a search." They may search you anyway, but making it clear that you did not consent could help your case later.

Here, we'll take a little bit of a deeper look at charges involving drugs found in a house or car.

If Drugs Are Found in a House, Who's Responsible?

The first suspect, when drugs are found in a house, apartment, or another residence, will be the person who has immediate control of the property. Most of the time, that would be the person who is living there. Let's say you're having a house party and someone brings drugs. The police come and bust up the party, finding the illegal drugs on your property. You could face arrest and criminal charges unless you can prove that the drugs are not yours.

If Drugs Are Found in Your Car, Who's Responsible?

The situation is somewhat similar for drugs found in a car, but there will be the added complexity of where in the car the drugs were found. If they were found next to a passenger in the back seat of the car, for example, it would be reasonable to believe that they may belong to that passenger and not the driver/owner of the car. If someone gets pulled over in your car with drugs, you do not have to be the one to face arrest, charges, and a conviction.

The important things to consider in a possession case involving drugs found in a car or house are:

  • Where in the house or car were the drugs found?
  • Was someone actually in possession of the drugs at the time of the arrest?
  • Did someone else have access to your home or car who could have brought or left the drugs there?

Sometimes, building a shadow of a doubt is enough to help with a case involving someone else's drugs on your property, because the prosecuting attorney must prove guilt beyond all doubt.

"Who Gets Charged If the Drugs Weren't Mine?"

Here's the harsh truth: the police always hear "they aren't mine" from drug possession suspects. Even when it's true (and many times, it is), the prosecutors will follow the evidence. When drugs are found in your house or car, it's likely you're going to get charged.

Unless the police have another suspect, you're the one who will be charged with possession.

However, that doesn't mean you're unable to get acquitted or have your case dismissed. If you talk to us, we can take a look at the evidence in your favor and develop a strong case for your innocence. Below, we've listed a few proven defense strategies that we've used to help hundreds of clients walk away scot-free.

Proven Defenses for Drug Possession Charges

Even though the odds may be stacked against you, do not take a plea deal without first speaking to a criminal defense lawyer. Accepting a plea may sound like your best option, but the case against you may be weaker than you realize.

Under the circumstances, your attorney may attempt to prove that:

  • You were not the only one who had access to the drugs
  • You did not have knowledge that the drugs were present
  • You did not know that the substance was actually illegal
  • The police did not have the right to search your property
  • The drugs aren’t illegal (they were prescribed by a doctor)

Every case is different, so a full investigation into the matter will be essential if we are to build an effective defense on your behalf. Fortunately, we know possession laws and how your fourth amendment rights interact with these. Our lawyers take a smart approach to help our clients face the best possible outcome, regardless of the circumstances.

Penalties for Drug Possession in Florida

If you were arrested for drug possession in Florida, you could be facing charges for a third-degree felony—which carries up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

“Why Was I Arrested?”: Constructive Possession vs. Actual Possession

In any possession case, the prosecution must establish that the drugs actually belonged to you. In order to do so, they may attempt to prove that you were in “actual” or “constructive” possession of the drugs.

Actual possession means that the drugs were on you when they were discovered (i.e. the police found cocaine in your pocket). Constructive possession means that you weren’t holding the drugs, but that you were aware of their presence (i.e. the drugs were found in your car or in your house).

Proof of constructive possession requires that:

  • You knew or should have known that drugs were on your property.
  • You knew or should have known of the illegal nature of the drugs.
  • You had the ability to exercise control over the illegal substances.

So how does the prosecution prove that you knew about the drugs? Some incriminating facts may include that the drugs were in plain view (i.e. in the cup holder of your car), the drugs were found with other personal items, the drugs were found in your bedroom, the police also found drug paraphernalia, etc.

Even if these factors exist in your case, it is still possible to reduce or eliminate the penalties you’re facing. Our attorneys have helped countless clients walk free from high-stakes charges because we’ve developed strategies from resolving thousands of cases.  Finding holes in the prosecution's case will be our goal if we take on your drug possession charges.

Contact Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. for a Free Consultation

If someone was pulled over in your car with drugs, drugs were found in your house but they weren't yours, or if you've found yourself in any complicated situation involving drug possession charges, don’t jeopardize your future by putting your case in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer. Contact the team at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A. for the skilled legal defense that you deserve!

Our Fort Lauderdale drug crime attorneys have handled thousands of criminal cases over our many years in practice.

Contact our office now to get your free case evaluation!

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Our Victories

  • Not Guilty, Acquitted at Trial Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon

    Outcome: Client was alleged to have used his vehicle to strike victim, and there was video of the incident which could have been interpreted to actually show the crime. The state was offering significant prison time before trial. By meticulous planning and strategic cross-examination to expose the motives and fabrications by the alleged victim, and an eyewitness in support of the alleged victim, Rudenberg & Glasser convinced a jury to acquit the client and avoid a mandatory long prison sentence.

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    Outcome: Attorney Glasser was able to show with video footage that his client did not commit the alleged offense and furthermore, the police officer who ordered his arrest was negligent in his investigation and improperly supervised.

    Read more about this story on the Sun Sentinel.

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    Outcome: Through compelling sentencing memorandum and passionate oral argument, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to convince the federal court judge to sentence their client to treatment for substance abuse, and no incarceration, even though the client had a lengthy criminal history and the Government was seeking prison time.

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  • Final Injunction Hearing
    Outcome: Client desperately needed to avoid a final injunction on his record. Rudenberg & Glasser defended him at the hearing and proved that the Petitioner was not in fear for her safety. The judge dismissed the injunction.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Resisting Police Officer Without Violence
    Outcome: Mr. Rudenberg presented evidence that the police officer’s version of events was not credible, and that accusations were made to justify excessive use of force by police officer. Jury returned a verdict of not guilty in less than five minutes.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanors: DUI & Possession of Cannabis
    Outcome: Mr. Rudenberg won a motion arguing the DUI checkpoint was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the Judge entered an order suppressing all evidence. Case was dropped by the State, and client avoided a mandatory conviction for DUI, as well as mandatory fines and license suspensions.
  • $250,000 Pre-Trial Personal Injury

    Outcome: Client was injured by a malfunctioning door, requiring stitches and leaving a scar on client's knee. There were limited medical bills and no surgeries, but through extremely challenging and successful negotiations, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to secure a settlement of $250,000.

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