CR40-801 10/12/20

 

PERMISSIVE INFERENCE OF DRUG POSSESSION (PRESENCE IN AUTOMOBILE), 18 V.S.A. 4221(b)

 

The presence of a regulated drug in an automobile [other than a public omnibus] permits, but does not require, you to infer the knowing possession of such a regulated drug by each and every person in the automobile at the time such drug was found.

If the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a regulated drug was present in the automobile at the same time that (Def)_______________ was in the automobile, that (Def)_______________ was not operating the vehicle for hire in the lawful and proper pursuit of [his] [her] trade, that none of the occupants were legally authorized to possess the drug, and that the drug was not concealed upon the person of one of the occupants, then you are permitted but not compelled to infer that [(Def)_______________] knowingly possessed the drug in the vehicle.

In other words, you may infer that (Def)_______________ was in possession of the (specific drug)_______________, but you do not have to. You must consider all of the circumstances tending to support or contradict the inference in determining whether to apply or reject the inference.

If the only evidence of guilt is this inference of knowledgeable possession, that is not enough to overcome the presumption of innocence. You may apply this inference only if there is additional evidence such that the evidence as a whole, including the inference, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that (Def)_______________ knowingly possessed (specific drug)_______________. If you decide to disregard the inference, you must determine (Def)_______________s guilt or innocence based on your consideration of the remaining evidence.