Criminal Defense Topics
Equal Access and Possession
The equal access rule protects persons accused of crimes involving possession by requiring the prosecution to prove that the accused had knowledge of, and exclusive control over, contraband or illegal items.
The equal-access rule can play a pivotal role in your defense strategy. Specifically, this argument can help a defendant when contraband (things a person is not allowed to have) is found on a their property or in their home, when other people have had access to the property or home.
When it comes to contraband, illegal substances, and unlawful items a successful defense is able to separate the defendant form the item(s) in question. The prosecutor builds a case around either actual possession or constructive possession. Invalidate possession and a case will fall apart quickly.
Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession
Actual possession is applicable when the contraband is found on your person or in a place under your immediate control. This can include items found in your pockets, hidden in your clothing, in your wallet, purse, backpack, etc. Items found in your immediate area such as during a traffic stop drugs are found on your car seat, in your console, or similar area.
Constructive possession is applicable when contraband is found somewhat removed from your person, but in an area realistically under your control. Examples would be police serving a search warrant
How Equal Access Works in Defense
Effectively, the basis for the argument is that the contraband have been placed there by other people, and the defendant was totally unaware of the existence of the contraband.
The defendant, through their defense counsel, has the burden of proving that other people did indeed have access to the property or home. Generally, claiming someone unknown to the defendant (a stranger) is responsible for the contraband being on the property or in the home.
Defense Lawyer in Cherokee County GA
If you need help with possession charges in Georgia you need to consult with a defense attorney as soon as possible. Any criminal charges can be devastating to your freedom, personal relationships, and ability to get a job. Contact a criminal defense lawyer online or call 770-956-1400.