Possession and The Equal Access Rule


O.C.G.A. 16-13-30 controls punishment regarding controlled substances, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and purchasing controlled substances. Nonetheless, the most commonly charged are possession and possession with intent to distribute.

Possession and possession with intent to distribute share one common element, possession. Possession with intent to distribute can be established through circumstantial evidence. Intent to distribute aspect can be inferred from the quantity of the drug possessed and the manner in which the drug is packaged. Further evidence used to prove intent to distribute includes drug paraphernalia, such as scales, a large amount of cash, and the defendant's criminal activity prior to arrest.

When drug contraband is found in a vehicle, the presumption is that the individual that owns and controls the automobile is in control and possession of the contraband found within the car. When multiple individuals are within a car containing contraband, the issue becomes slightly more complicated. When the evidence shows that persons other than the vehicle owner had equal access to the drugs, and no evidence exists that the defendant had complete possession and control of car, no presumption arises.

An equal access argument can be made by a defendant presumed to possess the contraband. An equal access argument must show that others actually had access and that the others had the opportunity to commit the crime. The Equal Access Rule is just one of the potential defenses. Call the Law Office of Robert L. Booker today and let us review the facts of your arrest for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any Schedule drugs. An arrest does not equal a conviction, and we will work to provide you the strongest defense available.

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