Can I Get Arrested If My Roommate Sells Drugs?

When in the presence of illegal activity, individuals often wonder how much trouble they might be in, even if they never personally engaged in those activities. The determining factor is how much they knew about what was happening, or what degree of control they had over the situation or area in question.


If your roommate sells illegal drugs, your culpability is measured by how much you knew about what was going on and whether or not you were ever involved. For instance, if your roommate sells drugs, keeps the contraband locked away in his or her room, and never discusses anything about selling drugs with you, it isn’t likely that you will face charges. You will, however, need to deal with the police searching your home and possessions. Law enforcement also will question you about your roommate’s activities to determine whether or not you knew about his or her activities.

Given the above example, let’s assume one thing was different: the drugs were kept in a common area readily within your view, such as a living room or kitchen. It would be very difficult for you to argue that you had no idea about what your roommate was doing since the drugs in question were in an easily visible common area. You would likely face a drug possession charge in this situation.

If you assisted your roommate in his or her endeavors in any way, you’ll likely face steeper charges, such as criminal conspiracy to sell drugs, intent to traffic, or constructive possession. In this case, you will more likely than not face similar charges to those your roommate receives. Even if you simply take a drive with your roommate one time to make a sale, you can face criminal conspiracy charges.


The illegal sale of drugs is a very dangerous trade. Not only does it jeopardize the lives of those engaged in such activity, but also those of the people nearby. If you discover that your roommate is selling drugs, you may be tempted to stay quiet and pretend like you never saw anything to avoid a possibly violent confrontation.

If you’re set on staying quiet, your safest option is to move out as soon as possible. However, depending on your living situation, this may not be a viable option. Your safety and freedom should be your top priorities. You could also tell your landlord or the property owner, and let him or her decide how to handle the situation. In other cases, you may want to inform the police, and by doing so you’ll likely avail yourself of any conspiracy charges, especially if you call the police as soon as you realize what your roommate is doing.


In some cases, individuals are charged as co-conspirators or accessories due to their proximity to illegal activity. If you did not aid your roommate in any way, you more than likely will not be convicted. However, you will need to fight an extensive court battle to establish your innocence. If you resided at the place in question for an extended period of time while your roommate was selling drugs, the police may have been conducting surveillance and evidence-gathering. If they saw you often during such activities, they’ll likely assume you’re involved to some degree.

Your best option when charged for a crime you did not commit is to hire a drug possession attorney. Drug charges can land the innocent behind bars simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you know about any illegal activity going on in your home, it’s best to distance yourself from it before you are caught up in the consequences.