Constructive Possession of Drugs NC
In State v. Brown, 310 N.C. 563, 570, 313 S.E.2d 585, 589 (1984) the defendant had constructive possession of cocaine based upon evidence tending to show:
(1) the defendant was found in the apartment with two other people when officers conducted a search;
(2) cocaine was located on a table approximately six to eight inches away from where the defendant was standing when police arrived;
(3) officers recovered a key to the apartment and $ 1,700.00 in cash from the defendant's pockets).
Possession of a controlled substance can be actual or constructive. State v. Baldwin, 161 N.C. App. 382, 391, 588 S.E.2d 497, 504-05 (2003).
"Constructive possession of a substance applies where the defendant has both the power and intent to control its disposition or use. . . . If the defendant's possession over the premises is nonexclusive, constructive possession may not be inferred without other incriminating circumstances." State v. Autry, 101 N.C. App. 245, 251-52, 399 S.E.2d 357, 361-62 (1991).
"A defendant's presence on the premises and close proximity to a controlled substance is a circumstance which may support an inference of constructive possession." State v. Kraus, 147 N.C. App. 766, 770, 557 S.E.2d 144, 148 (2001) (quoting State v. Givens, 95 N.C. App. 72, 78, 381 S.E.2d 869, 872 (1989));
See also State v. Harvey, 281 N.C. 1, 12-13, 187 S.E.2d 706, 714 (1972) ("The State may overcome a motion to dismiss or motion for judgment as of nonsuit by presenting evidence which places the accused within such close juxtaposition to the narcotic drugs as to justify the jury in concluding that the same was in his possession.").
"Constructive possession depends on the totality of circumstances in each case. No single factor controls, but ordinarily the question will be for the jury." State v. James, 81 N.C. App. 91, 93, 344 S.E.2d 77, 79 (1986).