AFFIRMATIVE LINKS TO DRUG POSSESSION

Dallas Criminal Lawyer

Dallas Criminal Lawyer | Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer 

The Penal Code defines possession as actual care, custody, control, or management.  To establish possession of a controlled substance, the State must prove two elements: that the accused exercised care, custody, control, and management over the contraband, and that the accused knew that the item possessed was contraband. Possession of the contraband does not have to be exclusive, and evidence is sufficient if it shows that the accused jointly possessed the item with another.  The evidence must affirmatively link the accused to the contraband in a manner and to an extent that a reasonable inference may arise that the accused knew of the contraband’s existence and its location.  The affirmative link is established by showing additional facts and circumstances that indicate the accused’s knowledge and control.  When a defendant is not in exclusive possession of the place where the controlled substance is found, the State must prove additional independent facts and circumstances that affirmatively link the defendant to the contraband and establish the defendant had knowledge of the contraband and exercised control over it.  Courts have identified a non exhaustive list of factors that may help to show an affirmative link to controlled substances.  Each case is examined on its own facts, and a factor that contributes to the sufficiency of the evidence in one case may be of little or no value in a different case.  It is not the number of affirmative links that is important, but rather the logical force that they crate to prove the defendant committed the crime.

  • Presence when search was executed
  • Contraband was in plain view
  • Defendant was under the influence of contraband when arrested
  • Defendants possession of other contraband when arrested
  • Defendant’s incriminating statements when arrested
  • Attempted flight
  • Furtive gestures
  • Odor of contraband
  • Presence of other contraband
  • Defendant’s right to possession of place where contraband was found
  • Drugs found in enclosed place
  • Amount of contraband was large enough to indicate that accused knew of its presence
  • Defendant offered an implausible story to explain his actions
  • Defendant exhibited an unnatural equanimity and lack of concern throughout temporary detention and subsequent investigation.