Can a passenger in a motor vehicle be charged with drug possession where the drugs are found by the police, or there is other contraband such as stolen property found in the car. The short answer is yes to the question. This is a very common thought pattern that happens in criminal law. Our firm gets many cases a year where there are drugs or stolen property found and there is multiple people in the car. The police have a real dilemma because the driver is in possession of the motor vehicle and they are deemed a little bit to break down the law to be in possession what’s in their car. Although they can defend it and say its not theirs. You have all these other people in the car who could have been in possession of the good. Lets say its in the glove box and the front passenger could have put it in there without the drivers knowledge’s it becomes a deliocate situation. The police effectively in this situation, when there’s drugs found in the vehicle but not on a particular person but somewhere in the vehicle, hidden for example. They have to charge everyone, then it’s a real problem. You got four or five people charged with the same thing, they might be all denying it and might be all pointing the finger at each other. The court system has to sort it out. Usually the court system sorts out it properly, sometimes the driver might come out and say its mine. But what if they don’t? You have four or five different defence council fighting over this drug case, complicated trial with charter applications and pointing the fingers. I’ve seen cases where no one gets convicted. This is the dilemma the police face and it happens. I could tell you its one of the most common thought patterns in criminal law. Stolen goods in the car, drugs found in the car, the police pulling over for a highway traffic act violation and there is a smell of marijuana leading to a search of the vehicle. If the drugs are found on a particular person than they will be the only one charged. I’m thinking of hidden drugs or open drugs where everyone has access to it. So there’s the pattern our firm faces. We probably receive one of these cases a month.

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