Actual vs. Constructive Possession – Do you understand the difference and why its really important if you’re arrested for an illegal handgun or narcotic in Pennsylvania or New Jersey
Our criminal defense law firm defends individuals charged with possessory crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These crimes often involve an illegal gun, firearm, drug, or narcotics. In all of these criminal cases our defense law firm assesses pretrial and trial issues. At the pretrial level we are focused on arguments which concern our clients’ rights under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the related sections of the State Constitutions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. However, at the pretrial level, the burden of proof is preponderance, and this is often a difficult burden to satisfy. At the trial level, our law firm often makes arguments regarding actual vs. constructive possession in criminal cases involving illegal guns and narcotics.
What is actual vs. constructive possession in Pennsylvania and New Jersey?
Actual possession is when the alleged contraband is found on the suspect’s person. Constructive possession is when the item is found in the persons area of immediate control. It is very important to understand that your criminal defense lawyer must have a strong command of this concept because it is often critical in any trial involving individuals who often face felony convictions and the possibility of State prison. In New Jersey, for example, most gun crimes involve mandatory minimum sentencing. While Pennsylvania does not carry mandatory minimum sentencing in cases, nevertheless, people face serious jail terms in Pennsylvania following a conviction for a gun crime.
When should your criminal defense lawyer make the constructive possession argument?
A strong constructive possession argument is often made when the contraband is found in a trunk or perhaps in a container where several people have access to the said container. Your criminal defense lawyer should make all arguments because the burden is on the State (Commonwealth) to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard in all criminal Courts across the United States.
It is important that your criminal attorney evaluate actual constructive possession and form arguments around these concepts. If you have questions about these concepts, you should ask your criminal defense lawyer and that person should be able to explain them to you in a clear and concise manner.
Actual and constructive possession is also an argument that can assist with bail both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Pennsylvania’s bail system is based on a monetary amount and New Jersey is based on a Public Safety Assessment (PSA). The factors which determine bail are danger to the community, potential flight risk and of the allegations made against the individual.
What to do if police stop your vehicle and want to search it for an illegal handgun or narcotic?
Our criminal defense law firm represents person charged with crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These crimes involve allegations of drunk driving, illegal drug, narcotics, and possession of illegal guns and firearms. We always tell readers and clients to respect police and law enforcement but to never give consent to search their vehicle, their home or property. In addition to not giving consent to search, a person should never speak to police without a lawyer present.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Illegal Gun Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.