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Possession doesn’t mean what you think - learn the legal definition in Wisconsin

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What Does Being in Possession of Something Mean?

Charged with possession in WisconsinIn Wisconsin, you can be charged for being in possession of many different illegal items - from drugs, to drug paraphernalia, to firearms. But what does “possession” mean?

Possession has several different legal definitions. Obviously, if an item is on your person, in your hand, in your pocket, etc., it can legally be defined as in your possession. Possession can also mean that you knowingly have actual physical control of an item.

However, possession does not require that an item be on your person or in your physical control. An item is also in your possession if it is in an area over which you exert physical control. For example, if the police find a firearm in your closet in your bedroom, it is in an area over which you exert physical control. Even though it is not on your person, the police could still charge you with possession.

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Possession can also be shared by more than one person at a time. For example, if drugs are found in the center console of a vehicle that has 4 occupants, all 4 occupants could potentially be charged with possession of those drugs.

Also, keep in mind that ownership of an item is not required for possession. Even if you do not own an item, you can be in possession of it if it is on your person or in an area over which you exert physical control.

You are only guilty if you are convicted™

If you have been charged with possession of an illegal item, contact our team of award-winning attorneys to discuss what defenses you may have, and how we can help.

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By: Attorney Tom Grieve on 03/06/2020

Tom Grieve is a former prosecutor who now runs a successful Wisconsin criminal defense law firm with offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison. If are facing new charges initial phone consultations are free: contact online or call 262-786-7100.

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