Can a cop give out two tickets for one offense?

First, in the OP, the evidence would have to be reviewed by the court to determine whether the two citations were valid. The result would depend on the circumstances and testimony. If instead the OP is asking, “Is it possible for two people to be convicted on charges of possession of a single pipe at the same time?”, that’s a different question, which I think on balance has been answered “yes” by other posts.

In the extreme examples of setting people on fire, and shooting with a bow and arrow, those are illegal acts, which is far different than issuing a citation that is dismissed by the court.

And since the OP described a real situation with peoplep you knew, and six years have passed, can you tell us what actually happened?

I would suggest that this is the primary claim.

You do realize that this is a ticket we’re talking about. They’re not going to call in the forensic team to take fingerprints and DNA swabs to settle the issue around a couple of tickets. To demand that they do so, is to demand so much from our justice system that it is paralyzed with respect to minor crimes.

Since they are both accused of possession, and there’s a trivial explanation to how they both possessed the article at different points in time (sharing a bong, not exactly a novel concept) there’s no reason to claim that only one of them could have committed the crime.

Your argument would be valid if we were talking about a murder weapon thrown into the bushes instead of a bong. The weapon would be secured and analyzed by the forensic team to try and determine which person held it. There would be no reasonable assumption that they shared the weapon or both used the weapon on the victim (unless there is evidence to suggest that specifically).

This often happens in Ohio, too. As a prosecutor and now a magistrate, I’ve seen the same thing done with drugs, drug paraphernalia, guns and even cars. The police officer isn’t required to determine exactly who has “custody, dominion and control over” the object. She may, if there’s probable cause, charge everyone who might reasonably be construed as possessing the object(s) in question. Each of the identically-charged individuals is presumed innocent; it’s still up to the prosecution to prove that one or more is actually guilty of the offense, and sometimes it just can’t.

Sometimes it can come down to a matter of timing, too. Let’s say Adam, Bob and Carol are in a car at the same time. The police stop them and they all disavow ownership of the bag of coke found under the seat. All are charged with possession of (the exact same) drugs. Adam’s case goes to court first. Adam pleads guilty and is sentenced. Bob and Carol, if they or their lawyers have been paying attention, will point out that Adam’s already pled, so of course the drugs aren’t theirs. And maybe the prosecutor will agree and will dismiss their cases; maybe not. And even if the prosecutor doesn’t agree, the judge may.

Or Adam, Bob and Carol may have a falling-out and all gleefully incriminate each other. Or Adam and Bob may join forces to insist it was Carol’s all along. Who is to be believed? The judge or jury may decide.

You’re taking the world possession much to literal.

The word possession not only refers to physical control but the ability to take control whenever you want. If the two are passing it back and forth and can just stick their hand out and get the bowl, both have possession in terms of the law, regardless of who is physically holding it.

From my first year law book:

Possession is defined as "The detention or enjoyment of a thing
which a man holds or exercises by himself or with others, who keep or exercises
it in his name.

In order to complete a possession one must have the actual intent to possess. (In other words if someone throws and object at you and out of reflex you catch it, you are NOT in possession)

Possession may be accomplished by taking, occupying (as in a house), detaining (like an arrest or a security guard), or cultivating (as in a farm).

Possession is constructive when one holds legal title, or actual when one occupies or uses. (In this example you hold legal title to your car so you possess it, but a theif steals it, so he has actual use. In this case you BOTH have possession. Of course, while the thief has possession he is violating lots of other laws).

Abandonment forfeits the right to possession. (If you leave your house, take your belongings, don’t pick up your mail, don’t pay taxes on it, etc… It can be considered abandoned and you don’t have possession. Title to the property is covered by other laws)

Possession is lost only when the transfer of object is with the intent to diverst himself of the object. (In the OP example since the bowl was going back and forth neither possessor had the intention to divest himself but simply surrender custody of it temporarily)

That’s what I said and I gave the example of a car in the driveway.

Exactly. A better example is that if someone places drugs in your luggage without your knowledge you are not in possession because you had no intention of being in possession.

Well, there are several elements to the crime of possession of drug paraphernalia (all varying depending on which state you’re in). But possession in your example is different than knowledge. For a possession crime, both knowledge and intent are typically required along with a form of possession. But in your example, the person possessed the drugs in their luggage (by having constructive possession - or the ability to exercise dominion and control over the drugs in the luggage by having it within relative reach) but did not have the requisite knowledge that the drugs were there. An example where someone has knowledge but not possession of drug paraphernalia is where you see someone use a meth pipe from across the room but since that person is across the room, you obviously have no ability to exercise dominion and control over the pipe (setting aside the fact that it’s in another person’s hand). Intent, on the other hand, is usually inferred from the circumstances absent any sort of admission from the person who is caught with it.

That would be an easy law to challenge because you can test the driver for sobriety. Making a law doesn’t mean it will hold up over time.

why? if the offence is having open liquor, it’s irrelevant whether anyone is drunk. the offence is simply one of possessing open liquor.