Legal Tips: Constructive Possession

Demetrica Todd-Hunter
Attorney At Law provides legal information on a monthly basis.
Twitter: @DemetricaTodd

NOTE: You should alway consult with an attorney for any legal matter that exists. Advice will not be given on this blog, this is a source of information…. Enjoy

I cannot tell you how many times a defendant has been charged with possessing a controlled dangerous substance because they were around someone who had drugs.

For example, client is driving their car, a passenger has drugs on their person, car is involved in a traffic stop, passenger discards the drugs in the car, drugs become visible to a police officer under the ‘plain view’ exception, driver denies ownership, the passenger may or may not deny ownership, and both are charged with possession of the drugs.

Both occupants are charged due to a doctrine known as Constructive Possession. In order to prove constructive possession, the prosecutor must show the defendant had knowledge of the substance and ability to exercise control over the substance.

To prove knowledge, it must be proven that the substance is on or around one’s property. However, this particular knowledge does not have to be actual; it can simply be inferred from incriminating facts or circumstances.

For example, the car is filled with smoke or there is a strong odor of ‘weed’ that would wake the dead. In that case, an inference can be made that you were aware of the illegal substance even if not directly in your possession.

Ability to exercise control means you knowingly have the power and intention, directly or indirectly, to control the substance. Even if you do not have physical possession of the drug, the ability to gain physical possession is often enough.

On many occasions, I have been retained to represent one of multiple passengers in a car, where everyone denies knowledge of a particular drug. All are charged and in most cases, at minimum, the owner of the car is found guilty.

Laws on constructive possession differ by state and are case specific. It’s important to speak with an attorney if you are found in such a situation.

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The Olympics

IOC President Jacques Rogge backed off reports that he questioned the value of Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola and McDonald’s on Tuesday, after being quoted that there had been a “question mark” about their sponsorship due to obesity concerns.

In a statement to Reuters, Rogge noted that “The IOC hugely values the long-term sponsorship and support of both McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Through the years we have personally witnessed the positive impact that they make as TOP sponsors,” said the IOC president.

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Legal Tips: Estate Planning

Demetrica Todd-Hunter
Attorney At Law provides legal information on a monthly basis.
Twitter: @DemetricaTodd

NOTE: You should alway consult with an attorney for any legal matter that exists. Advice will not be given on this blog, this is a source of information…. Enjoy

Have you ever said to yourself, “I don’t need to think about estate planning because I don’t have anything to leave to anybody?” Well if this thought crossed your mind, you are absolutely wrong. Estate planning is important to anyone with a pulse.

There are three documents necessary for basic estate planning: Last Will and Testament, Living Will or Healthcare Declaration and Power of Attorney. The Last Will and Testament or simply ‘Will’ is the document that you leave behind once you go on to glory.

The Will speaks for you upon death by informing your family of your wishes, such as, who you want to have your fur coat or your crystal chandelier passed down to you from your great-great-great grandmother.

Also in the Will, you have to designate a person you trust to carry out your wishes. If you die without a Will, the State will decide how your property will be distributed.

The Living Will or Healthcare Declaration is the document that speaks for you if you ever became incapacitated and couldn’t communicate your wishes about healthcare measures. Remember Terry Schiavo? Terry’s family and husband were entangled in a legal battle for 7 years over prolonging her life.

There would have never been a battle if Terry had a Living Will. This document informs your family and hospital staff what your wishes are when it comes to life sustaining devices.

The Power of Attorney (POA) is the document that allows a designated person to conduct business on your behalf when you are incapacitated. You can give your POA as much or as little power as you desire. The POA is only valid during life and ceases upon death, at which point the Will takes over.

So remember, there is no such thing as ‘I don’t need to think about estate planning’ because you do!

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Procter & Gambe/NFL Partnership

Procter and Gamble and the NFL announced a multi-year sponsorship for Tide beginning with the 2012 NFL season making the brand the “Official Laundry Detergent of the NFL.” As part of the deal, products across Tide’s portfolio will be sport specialty NFL packaging ahead of the NFL season as part of a fully-integrated program with support across all marketing channels. Additionally, the individual team sponsorships allow Tide the opportunity to utilize team marks and execute team-specific marketing programs.

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Hines Ward Joins NBC

Retired Steeler Hines Ward, who still has lot of football to play, will join NBC Sports Group as an analyst across the company’s NFL, college football and studio programming in a multi-year agreement. He will also serve as a regular contributor to Football Night in America; serve as an analyst every Saturday on NBC’s and NBC Sports Network’s college football studio programming; and will also appear on NBC SportsTalk.

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This Day in Sports 5/1/2012

May 1st 1969 – Leonard Tose buys The NFL Franchise Philadelphia Eagles for $16,155,000

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On This Day in Sports 4/24/2012

On April 24th, 1974 the NFL granted a franchise to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers

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USA Basketball and Jeep Wangler Partnership

USA Basketball Organization and The Jeep Wrangler brand will be entering a partnership that will make Jeeps the “Official Vehicle of USA Basketball,” supporting both the men’s and women’s national teams.

The brand will launch a full advertising and marketing campaign beginning Saturday, April 28th and has named Chris Paul the spokesman for this partnership.

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NBDL National Tryouts

A message to all basketball players looking to take your game to the next level.

The NBA Development League announced that it will bring back the Boost Mobile NBA D-League National Tryouts, with events taking place in LA on May 12, Chicago on June 2, New York on June 16 and Houston on June 17.

The one-day tryouts will see several hundred athletes participate across the four cities for a chance to gain eligibility for November’s NBA D-League Draft.

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Legal Tips: Expungement

In order to expand the content of the blog, I have partnered with a good friend, Demetrica Todd-Hunter
Attorney At Law to provide legal information on a monthly basis.

NOTE: You should alway consult with an attorney for any legal matter that exists. Advice will not be given on this blog, this is a source of information…. Enjoy

As our nation continues to recover from an economic downfall, it’s important for each job seeking candidate to put their best foot forward. That being said, anyone with a criminal background should seriously consider filing for an expungement.

An expungement isolates prior convictions and arrests and registers the record as ‘no record found’. If an individual were to apply for a job and is asked if they have any prior arrests or convictions, they can legally respond ‘no’. If you were arrested and never convicted, you still have a criminal record even though the disposition is recorded as ‘dismissed’.

It’s important to conduct research or hire an attorney before completing an expungement petition since some violations are not expungeable. Also, each state has their own rules concerning the time period an individual must wait after being charged, before they can apply for an expungement.

Thus, when seeking employment, an expungement will allow an ex-offender with the same qualifications of a non-offender to compete on a leveled playing field.

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