In Washington, a person may be convicted of possession of a controlled substance if he or she has actual or constructive possession of the substance. A person has actual possession if he or she has physical custody of the substance. A person has constructive possession if he or she has dominion or control over the item. The dominion and control may be over the substance, or over the premises where it was located. Washington drug crime attorneys may challenge whether the defendant was in possession of the drugs, or even whether the substance in question was a controlled substance. In a recent case, the defendant challenged the evidence of possession and of the nature of the substance.
The police executed a warrant at a trailer. A man and his girlfriend were in the front of the trailer. The police officers found the defendant in a back bedroom with a female and took him into another room. According to the officers, they asked him where his “bulk amount of dope” was, and he gestured with his head toward the room where they found him and said they “might want to check back there.”
The officers found three lines of suspected methamphetamine on a table, two safes, mail addressed to the defendant at another address, knives, a shotgun and a box with shells, two glass pipes, small baggies, and a backpack containing another knife. They opened one safe with a key they found in a pair of pants. Inside the safe, they found a baggie containing 17.62 grams of what they believed to be heroin.