A Palm Beach high school principal has been charged with possession of marijuana after she was discovered in a car with one of her students. The student, who was legally an adult, and the teacher were both arrested and charged with constructive possession of marijuana, which was found in the car. The arresting officer also stated that the car smelled like burnt marijuana.
When marijuana is found in a car, all occupants of that car are typically arrested. This is known as constructive possession. Constructive possession means that the illegal substance is known to the defendant and the defendant has the ability to exercise control over the substance.
So if a baggie of marijuana is underneath a seat and the defendant knows or should know of its presence - the car smells of freshly burnt marijuana - the defendant can be charged even if the marijuana is not on their person.
In the case involving the high school principal, the marijuana was not on her person but it was present in the car.
The principal was not charged with any wrongdoing regarding the student since he was 18.
Eric Matheny is a Miami possession of marijuana lawyer and a Broward possession of marijuana lawyer.