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Are Roommates Guilty By Association?


The nice thing about having enough money to rent your own apartment is not having to deal with shady roommates.  It is hard to live with your own family, much less people you didn’t know very well before moving in together.  It is bad enough when your roommates leave dirty dishes in the sink, talk loudly when you are trying to sleep, and use up all the hot water with their long showers.  It is even worse when your roommates invite their drug buddies to the house, and they leave their drug paraphernalia all over the living room.  How much legal risk does your housemates’ illegal activity expose you to?  Plenty of defendants on the witness stand have said that the drugs the police confiscated from their houses didn’t belong to them, but this defense is more persuasive if you have druggie housemates.  Do you really have to go all the way to the witness stand to prove your innocence, though?  If you are under suspicion because of your housemates’ illegal drug use, contact a West Palm Beach drug offenses lawyer.

Police Execute Search Warrant and Find Drugs in the Bedrooms of Two Out of Four Housemates

Most of the time, you don’t ask what your roommates do when you are not home, and you would rather not know.  Imagine that, one night, you came home from work, smoked a joint in your room, and then went to sleep, at which point your housemate sold drugs to an undercover police officer.  The next thing you know, police are at your door with a search warrant, and it gives them the right to search the entire house.

Most of the time, search warrants are not based on the assumption that only one housemate has illegal drugs.  Early one morning in February 2024, police executed a search warrant at a three-bedroom Lake Worth house where one of the residents, Isaac Torres, had sold illegal drugs to an undercover officer.  Torres was in front of the house when the police arrived, and they arrested him, but then they searched all the rooms.  In Torres’s room, they found a Pokemon box with several crack rocks underneath the Pokemon cards.  In another bedroom, they found a small bag of marijuana, which they confiscated.  In the third bedroom, which was shared by two housemates, they did not find any drugs.  Torres is facing felony drug charges.  The 12 News website did not indicate whether the owner of the bag of weed has been charged with any crime.  In Palm Beach County, it is a civil offense, like a traffic violation rather than a crime, to possess a small quantity of marijuana, so unless the weed-owning housemate has any other connection to Torres’s drug sales, it is unlikely that he will face charges.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.



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