Constructive Possession of Drugs In Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court has held that there must be sufficient facts to warrant a finding that defendant was aware of the presence and character of the particular substance and was intentionally and consciously in possession of it. Cunningham v. State, 583 So. 2d 960, (Miss. 1991) Possession does not have to be actual physical possession. Id. Constructive possession may be shown by establishing dominion or control. Id. Proximity is usually an essential element, but by itself is not adequate in the absence of other incriminating circumstances. Id. The general rule is that a presumption of constructive possession arises against the owner of the premises upon which contraband is found. Id. However, when contraband is found on premises which are not owned by a defendant, mere physical proximity to the contraband, alone, does not show constructive possession. Id. The State must show additional incriminating circumstances to justify a finding of constructive possession. Id. Where the premises upon which contraband is found is not in the exclusive possession of the accused, the accused is entitled to acquittal, absent some competent evidence connecting him with the contraband. Id.