Under Illinois law, the state may prove either actual or constructive possession of contraband in order to show it belonged to you rather than someone else.
Actual knowledge may be proven if the illegal weapons are found on your person or in your immediate possession or control.
The State can prove constructive possession through circumstantial evidence. Here, the State must show that you knew about the illegal items and exercised immediate and exclusive control over the area where they were found. Constructive possession can be demonstrated when you once had physical control over the items and you intended to exercise control again, you did not abandon the items, and no other person obtained possession.
In one Illinois case, People v Moore, police were executing a search warrant when they saw defendant jump out a bathroom window. While police found some of defendant’s clothing and one piece of his mail inside the house, a defense witness testified that defendant did not live there. The court held that defendant’s flight did not prove constructive possession of the ammunition. The mail and clothing were also not enough to prove possession, since they were found in another part of the home from the bullets and drugs.
If you are charged with illegal possession of contraband, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove each element of an offense. Can they prove that you had exclusive control over the premises where the contraband was found?
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)