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Madison County Conviction for Possession of Marijuana Reversed

An Anderson, Indiana man’s convictions for possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance were reversed when the Court of Appeals held that the State failed to prove the man had constructive possession of marijuana. The defendant’s friend was stopped for a traffic violation and admitted to police he had been smoking marijuana at defendant’s house. Police then went to the house where multiple people were present. The defendant did not consent to a search.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house and found houseplants and empty pots, one of which contained stems that tested positive for marijuana. The pot that contained marijuana was found in a closet. The closet had a rubber seal around the doors and contained a book on how to grow marijuana. The defendant was then arrested and convicted at trial.

The Court of Appeals reversed his convictions finding that the State had failed to prove that the defendant had constructive possession of the marijuana. At trial, the State did not present any evidence regarding who lived at the house or whether the defendant rented or owned the house. There was no evidence presented that the defendant made any incriminating statements or that he had exclusive control of the closet where the marijuana was found. When police arrived, multiple people had been present at the house. The State had failed to present any evidence regarding whether other people lived there or that the defendant was the only person who had access to the kitchen closet where the marijuana was found.

If you were arrested after marijuana or other drugs were found in your home, call Gibson Law Office. The mere presence of drugs is not enough to convict a person of possession or marijuana or maintaining a common nuisance.