Know Your Rights: Mere Presence is Not Enough to Justify an Arrest

We often represent individuals arrested for being present in apartments where search warrants are executed, even though they did not possess anything illegal.  In our cases, attorneys for the police will often argue that the alleged discovery of contraband gives officers arguable probable cause to arrest everyone in the house.  This is simply not true.

You cannot be arrested for merely being present in an apartment where drugs or other contraband are found, unless there is specific evidence of actual or constructive possession on your part.

Read the NYPD's own Legal Bureau Bulletin on the subject below (obtained through FOIL).