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Kellen Winslow Jr. accused drug charge in East Hanover

Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. appeared Wednesday in Morristown to enter a not guilty plea to drug possession charges. Authorities claim that he was in possession of a synthetic substance known as Fubinaca in November. The substance is a form of synthetic marijuana. Law enforcement says that an East Hanover police officer discovered the substance during an unidentified incident November 19.

Media accounts of the November arrest do not provide detailed information about the alleged discovery of synthetic marijuana. It is not clear if Winslow was involved in a traffic stop on Route 10 when police made the alleged discovery, or if some other encounter with police was involved. A newspaper account vaguely states that Winslow was near Target on Route 10 when an officer claims to have found the substance.

Drug possession charges in New Jersey may involve a variety of different allegations. The law essentially recognizes two kinds of possession –actual or constructive. The difference between the two may be linked to how or where an alleged controlled substance is found.

For instance, a pat-down search of a person may lead to the discovery of alleged drugs. When an illegal substance is found in a person’s pocket, prosecutors may argue more ardently under the actual possession theory.

Constructive possession cases may arise when law enforcement finds a bag somewhere in car. Drugs in the glove compartment or on the floor may be involved in a construction possession situation. Here, prosecutors may try to convince a court or jury that the person accused of drug possession “constructively” possessed the substance.

The state must prove the person knew what the substance was and had the ability directly or indirectly to knowingly exercise control over the substance. To complicate matters, either form of possession may be joint possession involving two or more people.

The issues can be complex, and the issues surrounding possession are only a part of the legal analysis in many drug possession cases that criminal defense lawyers may assess in defending against charges.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Jets' Kellen Winslow charged with possession of synthetic pot,” Ben Horowitz, Jan. 10, 2014

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