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Will I be arrested if my roommate brings marijuana into our apartment?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Drug Possession |

Living with roommates can be a great way to split costs and build camaraderie, but what happens when one of them brings illegal substances into your shared space? In Ohio, the laws surrounding drug possession can be complex, and it’s essential to understand your rights and responsibilities.

What is constructive possession?

Constructive possession holds individuals accountable for illegal substances found in their proximity, regardless of whether they’re not directly holding or using them. This means that if your roommate brings marijuana into your apartment, you could be charged with drug possession, no matter if you didn’t know it was there or didn’t use it.

Courts may determine liability by considering several factors, including knowledge of the drug’s presence, ability to control it and intent to possess. The court may also use incriminating statements or suspicious behavior as evidence. The court weighs these factors together to establish constructive possession beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ohio’s drug possession laws

Possessing marijuana is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. It is punishable by a fine of up to $150. If you’re found to be in constructive possession of the drug, you could face the same penalties as if you were directly holding it.

A drug charge can appear on background checks and, if convicted, become part of a permanent criminal record. Charges can also result in job loss, difficulty finding housing and strained personal relationships. First-time offenders may be eligible for diversion programs or reduced sentences, while repeat offenders face harsher penalties and fewer options for leniency.

Your rights and responsibilities

It’s important to remember that you have a right to a safe and legal living environment. If you suspect your roommate is bringing illegal substances into your apartment, address the issue directly and assertively. Consider having a conversation with your roommate about your concerns or seeking mediation through a neutral party.

While the laws surrounding drug possession can be complex, it’s evident that constructive possession can have serious consequences. If you’re facing a situation where you are implicated because of the actions of people around you, seek guidance from a legal professional. They may be able to provide options and help establish your rights. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and taking proactive steps to protect yourself can make all the difference.

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