Lack of Knowledge
Another good defense is lack of knowledge of the presence of the marijuana or lack of the ability to possess the contraband. Lack of knowledge is actually an affirmative defense, which means if Barton Morris can prove that you didn’t know that the substance you had was marijuana, your case must be dismissed.
If the marijuana was found in a place where more than one person had access, the prosecutor would have the burden of proving that (1) you knew the marijuana was present, and (2) you had dominion and control over it.
For example, if you borrowed a friend’s car and happened to be stopped by the police, and the police found marijuana in the glove box or trunk, the police would be unable to convict you on a possession of marijuana charge unless they could prove that you knew the marijuana was there.
Or, suppose you and a friend were driving and your friend had a little bag of marijuana that he decided to sit on or place between his feet. If the police were to pull you over and see your friend’s marijuana, they would be unable to convict you on a possession of marijuana charge because your friend is the only person who had dominion and control over it.
Remember, the prosecution must prove that you did not have knowledge and did not have the ability to have control over the marijuana. Without proof, there can be no conviction.