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Name: People v. Tripp
Case #: F049845
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/01/2007
Summary

Constructive possession of methamphetamine alone is insufficient to prove a violation of Health and Safety Code section 11377, as the crime also requires proof that defendant knew the nature of the controlled substance. Appellant’s home was subjected to a probation search on the basis of a condition applicable to another individual who was staying with appellant. The police found .12 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine on a night stand in appellant’s bedroom. The methamphetamine was the size of the head of a pin and was “spilled out like salt on the edge of the night stand.” But there was no evidence that appellant was under the influence of methamphetamine or other drugs, that he possessed paraphernalia related to the use of methamphetamine, or that he had prior use of or familiarity with methamphetamine. On the basis of this evidence, the court agreed that there was insufficient evidence of his knowledge of the narcotic nature of the methamphetamine found on the night stand and reversed the conviction for simple possession, with directions that the case be dismissed.