If the police showed up to your apartment with a search warrant and arrested you and your roommate for a drug crime, you may wonder why this has happened, especially if you had no clue there were drugs in the apartment. When drugs are found in an apartment, the police have the right to arrest everyone living there; however, this does not mean that your drug charge will stick. Here are a couple important things you should know if you are in a situation like this.
You might be presumed guilty because you lived there
The police will assume that you are guilty for a drug charge if they find drugs in the house you live in. This assumption is based on the principle that if you live there, you should know what is going on. This is called constructive possession, and it means you should have known. While this makes some sense, there are ways you might be able to get out of the crime charged against you.
Defenses you might be able to use
The main defense a lawyer may use to help you get out of the charges is that you did not know about the drugs. This defense strategy can be successful in certain situations, but it may not work in others. For example, if the drugs found were hidden in your roommate's room, they might believe you when you say you did not know about them. On the other hand, if the drugs were hidden in your room or in a common area, stating you did not know they were there would not be a logical defense.
The testimony your roommate offers could also help or hinder your case. If your roommate states that you knew about them, used them, or helped sell them, it would be hard to defend yourself against this. If the drugs honestly were not yours and your roommate vouches for this, you might be able to use this testimony to get the charges dropped.
You could get the charges reduced
It's also important to consider the type of charges against you and your roommate. A drug possession charge is not as severe as a charge for selling drugs. There are a variety of different levels of drug charges. If you cannot get out of the charges completely, your lawyer might at least be able to help you get the charge reduced to one that is not as serious.
Being wrongly charged with any type of crime can be an overwhelming experience, but you will have the best luck with your case if you hire a good criminal lawyer, like Barbour & Simpkins LLP, to represent you.