The accused was in custody. On the day in question, a correctional officer became suspicious of the presence of illicit substances due to the several inmate being high on the range. While searching the cells, the correctional officer located cannabis marijuana resin hidden in a balled up sock in the bed of the accused. In addition to the marijuana resin, the officer also found burnt ashes around the toilet located in the cell. The accused was charged with simple possession of marijuana.
At trial the Crown Attorney argued the only possible explanation for the marijuana being in the accused’s bunk was that he knew of the drug, and the drug where either his or he had control of the drugs. Joshua Rogala argued the only way for the crown to prove it’s case was through constructive possession. In other word, there’s no other reasonable inference other than the accused had possession of the marijuana resin at the time in question.
A Careful Cross Examination
Joshua Rogala carefully cross examined the officer. Piece by piece, as he asked questions the Crown’s case fell apart. Joshua was able to show that the officer wasn’t sure if the accused had been high at the time or any time prior. It was shown that before the search of the cells other inmates had access to the accused cell. The officer agreed that inmates typically use one cell on the range to light up their illicit drugs and it isn’t necessarily the same person’s cell who is using the drugs.
In his closing arguments Joshua pointed out the the court that during the particular period of time, the correctional officer were attuned to the fact drug use had been going on. Inmates knowing this would take precautions to avoid detection and would easily do so by hiding their drugs in other cells. The Judge also accepted that ‘jail rules’ prevented the accused from pointing fingers at other inamtes even if he knew more than he shared during his testimony.
The Judge carefully consider the arguments advanced by both parties. Based on arguments advanced by Joshua Rogala, the Judge found the Crown failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused was acquitted of simple possession.