AR Court of Appeals - April 27, 2016

Cody W. Dowden, Attorney at Law

Lambert v. State - Constructive possession and circumstantial evidence - affirmed

This case involved a conviction for felon being in possession of a firearm, even though he didn't have the gun on him. Constructive possession is the notion that a person can be deemed to possess something due to the fact that the item is in close proximity to the person and that it can somehow be connected to them. It can be inferred when the item is found in a place "immediately and exclusively accessible to the accused and subject to his control." It can also be inferred when the item is in joint control of the accused and someone else. This often comes up when there are multiple people in a vehicle where drugs are found. There are numerous factors that can demonstrate possession, including how close the person was to the item and how the person was behaving.

Additionally, circumstantial evidence can be used to prove knowledge and possession. ​Circumstantial evidence is evidence that is consistent with the guilt of a defendant and inconsistent with any other reasonable explanation. Circumstantial evidence has been used to convict many people, but under the the right circumstances it can be an excellent tool for a defense. Ultimately the court here decided that the location of the gun and the actions of the people in the vehicle pointed to the guilt of the person accused, and his conviction was upheld.

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