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Could Charges be brought against me if my son were to be caught with drugs or paraphernilia?

1 Answers. Asked on Sep 17th, 2014 on Family Law - Iowa
More details to this question:
Hi. I cosigned a car loan for my 18 year old son and the vehicle is registered under my name. He has been smoking marijuana and he continues to carry the substance and the paraphernalia in the vehicle despite my objections. Could any kind of charges be brought against me if he gets caught? Also, since he is 18 and I cosigned his car loan, do I have a right to see what money is available on the loan/the payout amount. He has been late on payments so I want to monitor that.
Answers Showing 1 out of 1
Robert E. Peterson at Robert Peterson, Attorney at Law
Licenced in MI
Answered on Sep 21st, 2014 at 4:49 PM

You can be charged with possession of a controlled substance and/or possession of paraphernalia if you know the substance or paraphernalia is present, and you know that the substance is a controlled substance.  You would have to have it in your "possession."  Possession can be constructive possession where it is in your presence.  So if you were driving or riding in his car and knew that illegal drugs were present and knew what the drugs were, you could be charged.  If the drugs were hidden and you did not know the drugs were there, you should not face a conviction, but the officer may still arrest you.

Just because you own the car does not mean that you would be convicted of a crime.  The State would have to prove possession and that you knew the controlled substance was present and that it was a controlled substance.  However, that being said, the state may be entitled to a presumption that since the car was yours, if you knew the substances were present, that you might be presumed to have possession. You might have to prove that you did not know.

As the cosigner on the loan, you should be entitled to information concerning the loan, as it would affect your credit if he was late.

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