So, Your Roomie is Distributing Drugs. Are You at Risk for Criminal Prosecution?

If you aren't married with kids, then it is likely that you are living with at least one roommate. What many people don't realize is that they can be held liable for certain crimes that their roommates commit. It ultimately boils down to your actual involvement and level of knowledge in regards to your roommate's unlawful dealings. In some cases, you could potentially face criminal charges related to your roomie's actions. Of course, every situation is unique, and it may be clear that you have not participated in any illegal actions. However, just in case, here are a few generalities to be concerned with:

Your Potential Legal Problems

If your roommate is dealing drugs, there several "potential" issues here. To begin with, your personal possessions and the home in which you live can and will likely be searched by authorities. It's also not unlikely for yourself to find your hands behind your back in handcuffs. Sure, those drugs in your roomie's bedroom or even on the kitchen table may not have been yours, but you may actually have to prove that in court.

There is also something known as constructive possession, which simply means that you, as a roommate, had some level of control over the home where the drugs were located. For example, if the drugs were not locked away in your roommate's safe in his or her bedroom, and were instead lying on the kitchen table that everyone in the household uses, you may face drug possession charges.

If it can be proven that you provided assistance to your roommate in selling or even hiding the drugs, you may face criminal conspiracy charges. Ultimately, there will need to be some sort of proof of your helping your roommate with the crime, such as an agreement to do or the purchasing of certain supplies. The level of proof will depend on your state and the laws it has set forth.

What You Need To Do

Ultimately, you should never turn a blind eye to a roommate's unlawful dealings because it could hurt yourself in the long run. Protect yourself in the eyes of the law by phoning your landlord or even the police. If you can't bring yourself to do that, then find a new place to live. Don't allow your future to be put at risk.

Remember, just because you have been arrested and/or charged with drug possession or intent to distribute, it does not mean that you will be convicted and incarcerated. Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney, such as Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices, who can help you understand your situation, your state's laws and your potential defenses, while walking you through the steps of what's to come.