You may not know that you can get charged with a crime just by being present during an unlawful situation. This can be a very bad situation for you to be in. Below is some information about this so you will know what you can do.
Not Knowing About the Legal Activity
If you visit someone and they are doing illegal activity that you do not know about, this crime is known as Place of Common Nuisance (PCN). This could be in a home, apartment, hotel room, vehicle or boat. The crime could be a variety of things such as smoking marijuana, doing drugs, or selling illegal paraphernalia, such as drugs, medication, firearms, and stolen merchandise. The person doing the illegal activity could be a friend that you have known for a long time or someone that you have met for the first time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you notice some illegal activity, you should leave or even call the police and tell them about what is going on. When the police arrive, they assume everyone there is guilty, which is very understandable, so it's important that you leave the premises.
Knowingly Visiting Someone Doing Illegal Activity
If you knowingly visit someone that you know is committing illegal activity, this crime is known as Visiting a Common Nuisance (VCN). For example, this would happen if you are dating someone and know they are committing a crime but agree to go to their home anyway. Even if you do not take impart of any of the illegal activity, you will still be charged. For example, the person may have drugs or a gun sitting on a table right next to you. In some states, it is required that the person that owns the gun have a certificate or license to possess it. If you know that the person doesn't own a license and you don't do anything about it, you could be charged with VCN.
Allowing Someone to do Illegal Activity
If someone visits your home and you allow them to do an illegal activity, this crime is known as Maintaining a Common Nuisance (MCN). For example, if you allow your friend to snort cocaine or smoke something illegal but do not partake in the activity yourself, you will still be charged. This would also happen if you allow anyone that is under the age of 21 to drink in your home. Depending on the state that you live in, it may also be against the law to let someone under a certain age to smoke cigarettes in your home.
If you have been charged with a crime that you didn't commit or were unaware of, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. With a good lawyer, you have a much better chance of being exonerated of these charges.