Elements of Possession of Marijuana In Texas

To support a conviction for unlawful possession of marihuana, the State must prove: (1) the defendant exercised care, control, or management over the contraband; (2) the defendant knew what she possessed was contraband. See Grant v. State, 989 S.W.2d 428, 433 (Tex. App.- Houston[14th Dist.] 1999, no pet.), (citing McGoldrick v. State, 682 S.W.2d 573, 578 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985). Possession entails more than merely being in the presence of contraband; it requires the exercise of dominion and control over the contraband. See Reid v. State, 749 S.W.2d 903, 905 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1988, pet. ref'd). Several defendants may exercise joint possession over contraband. Dade v. State, 956 S.W.2d 75, 78 (Tex. App.-Tyler 1997, pet. ref'd). When the accused is not in exclusive control or possession of the place where the contraband is found, the accused must be "affirmatively linked" to the contraband. Id. "The evidence must affirmatively link the accused to the contraband in such a manner and to such an extent that a reasonable inference may arise that the accused knew of the contraband's existence and that he exercised control over it." Edwards v. State, 813 S.W.2d 572, 575 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1991, pet. ref'd). No set formula of facts exists which would dictate a finding of an "affirmative link" sufficient to support an inference of knowing possession. Reid, 749 S.W.2d at 905. The evidence will be found sufficient if the combined and cumulative force of all the incriminating circumstances support the conclusion the defendant possessed the contraband in question. Grant, 989 S.W.2d at 435.