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Guilt by Association


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#1 redsox_0411

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

State of Maine:     Is there a law that can be held against you called "Guilt by Association"

Riding in a truck with another person who owns the truck, is stopped and a bag of pot is in the back of the truck.   Is the passenger guilty by association?

Thanks


#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

redsox_0411 said...

Riding in a truck with another person who owns the truck, is stopped and a bag of pot is in the back of the truck.   Is the passenger guilty by association?

Guilty of what? You didn't specify the crime. But I'll guess that the charge was possession of the pot. Possession is not about ownership of the pot, and you are not guilty of a crime by "associating" with the owner of the pot. While I've not looked specifically at the Maine possession statute and related case law , generally speaking possession charges are about the ability to access and assume control of the pot. If the pot was located in the truck such that both of you could reach it and thus assume control of it (e.g. you could take the pot and smoke it), you may both be in possession of the drug and both could be charged and convicted of the offense. This is one reason why you never want to ride in a vehicle with someone you know or suspect uses illegal drugs. If the car gets stopped and the cops find drugs somewhere where everyone could have accessed it (e.g. on the floor, in the center console, or whatever), you end up facing possession charges even if you never intended to touch the drug. I suggest the person involved here consult a Maine criminal defense attorney if he's been charged with a crime.



#3 redsox_0411

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

Thanks for the response:   the initial charge was Class C Felony for Cultivation.   After 6 months the DA office has decided they don't have any evidence for that charge, it has been dropped and replaced with a Class C possession (greater than 1.25 oz) "guilt by association".  The person was never indicted on the first charge of Cultivation.  


 


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#4 RetCopPrlgl

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:44 AM

redsox_0411 said...

Is there a law that can be held against you called "Guilt by Association"



I've scoured the Maine Criminal Code, and find nothing that would permit a person to be charged with "guilt by association".  The word "guilt" itself implies that the person "charged" has already been convicted.  I think you're using the term in the wrong context.




Title 17-A: MAINE CRIMINAL CODE

Part 2: SUBSTANTIVE OFFENSES

Chapter 45: DRUGS

Subsection 1107-A Unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.

 

F. A schedule Z drug. Violation of this paragraph is a Class E crime unless the drug is marijuana, in which case a violation of this paragraph is:


(1) For possession of over 2 1/2 ounces to 8 ounces of marijuana, a Class E crime;


(2) For possession of over 8 ounces to 16 ounces of marijuana, a Class D crime;


(3) For possession of over one pound to 20 pounds of marijuana, a Class C crime; and


(4) For possession of over 20 pounds of marijuana, a Class B crime.

 

Again, as was suggested, if you've actually been charged with possession of marijuana, it would be advisable to consult with an attorney.  Being charged with possession is not being charged with "guilt by association".  There is no such thing.

I am not an attorney. My comments are made based on my training and experience as well as diligent research.  I am also not perfect, therefore, I will accept constructive criticism, if tendered with respect.



#5 redsox_0411

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

Thanks, your input is greatly appreciated.   The person was originally charged with Class C felony for cultivation, based on # of plants found.  Plants were on the drivers land and the charged person was  in the drivers truck.  I spoke with the defendant today and the bag was in the back of the pick up truck in a tool box and he could not possibly reach it to "take possession or control" of it, he has an attorney. My questions are coming because I do not have contact with his attorney and I have not seen the letter from his attorney detailing the "new" charge.   It just sounds to me like the DA is pushing to try to scare the defendant enough to get a guilty plea for some lesser crime.   The DA's office does not want to present itself as not being able to convict on SOMETHING so I think they are grasping at "guilt by association" as a last ditch effort to get a plea.  


#6 RetCopPrlgl

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:48 AM

Just so you understand at some point that there is NO such criminal offense as "guilt by association".

I am not an attorney. My comments are made based on my training and experience as well as diligent research.  I am also not perfect, therefore, I will accept constructive criticism, if tendered with respect.



#7 redsox_0411

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:46 PM

Thank you very much, I really do appreciate the time and effort for those who have responded to my question.    I am emailing this discussion to the defendant and hopefully this will give him some hope that this situation will be resolved now very quickly. 

Thank you





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