If you use marijuana recreationally, you’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve had it on you or in your vehicle while you’re behind the wheel. Having marijuana in your vehicle can lead to a mountain of legal trouble, so it’s best to keep it out of your car at all times. We’re not condoning the activity, but as someone who has defended clients against marijuana possession charges, we want share some tips for limiting your legal trouble if you have marijuana in your vehicle and are stopped by police.
Things To Remember About Marijuana Possession
Here are five things you’ll want to do or remember in order help keep you out of trouble if you have marijuana on you while you’re driving or are carrying it in your vehicle. It goes without saying, but the first real tip is to not have marijuana on you or in your vehicle, but for argument’s sake, let’s say you ignored that obvious tip.
1. Don’t Smoke In The Car – Even if you’re not smoking and driving, never smoke in the vehicle. Marijuana scent will linger for days, and you’re giving the officer reason to use the line “I smell marijuana,” which is impossible to verify and is difficult to challenge in court. If you’re going to smoke, try to find an area with good ventilation, and be mindful of how your clothes smell. If you drive over to your buddies house to pick up some marijuana, smoke while you’re there and then drive home, you’re going to have weed on you and reek of the drug, so you’re destined for an arrest if police pull you over. Don’t smoke in the vehicle or get into a vehicle if you’re recently smoked.
2. Don’t Consent To A Search – If you haven’t been smoking but have a joint in the vehicle, an officer may ask to search your car during a routine traffic stop. It’s important to remember that they do not have the right to search your car without a warrant or consent at this point, so don’t give it to them. They will try to coerce you into consenting by saying something along the lines of “If you’re not hiding anything, this will go quickly,” or “Do you mind if I search your car?” You can simply say, “Thanks, but I’m running behind schedule and do not consent to a search.” You shouldn’t need to give them an excuse, but this simple line seems to work well.
3. Stay Quiet – If they were watching a suspected dealer’s house, don’t give up any incriminating information about your visit. They may want to know why you were in their house or where you’re coming from. You have the right to remain silent, so don’t be afraid to use it. Don’t fall for their tricks when they say “We know you are coming from a drug house, just tell us why and we’ll go easy on you.” When it doubt, stay silent.
4. “Am I Free To Leave” – If you’re pulled over for speeding, you can expect the encounter to take about 10 minutes. Sometimes officers try to prolong the interaction to get you to confess or to give the drug sniffing dog time to show up. If the interaction is being drawn out, ask the officer directly if you are free to leave. Feel free to record this action as well, as it will help your lawyer challenge the prolonged detention.
5. Lawyer Up – Finally, the last thing you can do to help prevent a marijuana possession in your vehicle conviction is to lawyer up. We know how to challenge the legality of your arrest, and if you followed the above tips, you’re going to be in a good spot to beat the charges. We’ve won a lot of these types of cases, so let us add another one to our list. Contact Appelman Law Firm if you’ve been charged with marijuana possession in the greater Twin Cities area.