Because of the nature of the marriage relationship, the spousal privilege law of Ohio provides that a spouse who is a defendant in a case can prevent the other spouse from testifying regarding confidential communications, even if the other spouse wants to. However, if the issue is whether one spouse can be held liable for the criminal conduct of the other spouse in their Dayton home, then that will depend on the facts and circumstances of the situation.
At The VanNoy Firm, we have experienced criminal defense lawyers who can assist you if you are in this complicated situation.
Here is a scenario that might help illustrate how the law treats the criminal behavior of one spouse in regard to the other spouse: Soon after you get married and move into your marital home together, you suddenly find out that your husband is using your home to hide narcotics. He does not tell you anything about it and does not get you involved in his unlawful drug trafficking business. You now find yourself in a dilemma because as much as you know and disagree with what your husband is up to, you are not in a financial position to move out of the home.
In this situation, can you face criminal charges for your spouse’s drug activity?
In the scenario described above, you could potentially be charged with constructive possession of the drugs your husband has been hiding in your home. Constructive possession of drugs can lead to drug possession charges in Ohio, which can leave you facing serious penalties.
The Ohio law that applies in this case provides that possession “occurs when an individual has ‘control over a thing or substance but may not be inferred solely from mere access to the thing or substance through ownership or occupation of the premises upon which the thing or substance is found.’”
The Ohio Supreme Court has held that this law can be used to charge someone with either actual or constructive possession of drugs. That is the bad news for someone in your situation, but the good news is our skilled drug possession attorneys at The VanNoy Firm can help you in mounting a vigorous defense to seek the best possible outcome in your case.
We do this by putting the government to task in proving each element of the case against you, and if they are not able to, we make a case for dismissal of your case, or if the case goes to trial, we convince the judge or jury to dismiss the case if the prosecutor has failed to prove each element of the crime.
In a constructive possession case, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
This is not easy for the prosecution to prove, which gives an experienced criminal defense attorney leverage to either have the charges dismissed or in securing an acquittal at a trial.
If you have been charged with a drug offense because of narcotics your husband hid at your home, contact us today and talk to one of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys.
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