Is it possession if it was found in your apartment when you weren’t there at the time of the search warrant

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2009

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Is it possession if it was found in your apartment when you weren’t there at the time of the search warrant

I was arrested for possesion, intent for sales of controlled substance, and receiving stolen property. I was subletting an apartment. I left the house on Sunday.  The cops came to the complex my roomate got arrested in the parkinglot. On either Mon or Tues the master tenant changed the locks on me. I went back on Wed. to find the master tenant in my house. He told me thru the door cops came raided the house found drugs and stolen items and seized 10 pages of stolen items. He wouldnt let me in so as i go to my car cops are already there and I get arrested. 1st time — I have no priors. Who is at fault?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

As an occupant of the premises you can be arrested; however whether or not the charges against you will stand up is the question.

First off, they would have to prove that you the drugs, stolen items, etc were yours.  If they were found in the common areas and obviously in your room then they can make a good case; if the items in question were solely in roommate's bedroom then maybe not.  Also, was the search legal in the first place?  There are certain procedures that need to be followed.  This is a fact specific area of the law and can get very technical.

At this point you need to consult with a criminal attorney in your area.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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