Weed in the Car: What to Do When Pulled Over - FindLaw Blotter

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Weed in the Car: What to Do When Pulled Over

It's Friday. You are driving along, feeling good about your week and pleased to have some weed to enjoy in the evening, when you are pulled over by the police. Is this a problem?

Not necessarily, although the answer will depend on where you are and how you came to obtain that marijuana which you are now praying won't stink up your car. The laws on marijuana possession have changed dramatically in recent years and continue to do so. The range in rules from place to place is too wide to make any generalizations. Assuming, however, that you have no cannabis recommendation and are not in a state that allows recreational use, here is what to do when you are pulled over and have marijuana in your vehicle.

Where Weed Is Illegal

You are in a state where marijuana is illegal. First, do nothing. When an officer pulls you over and sees you wildly thrashing about in your car, that raises a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity that can justify a search even if none was warranted before.

Maybe the officer just wants to tell you about a broken taillight or that you are speeding. Do not create a reasonable suspicion in them by acting suspicious.

License and Registration

Whenever you are pulled over, you should cooperate with police, providing your license and registration and exchanging politely. The best way to avoid an extended exchange with police is by trying to give officers what they need.

If an officer says that there is a smell of marijuana in the car and that a search is necessary, allow it. Do not exacerbate the situation by being belligerent with police. But do try to recall the details. You will not win in a fight with officers but your criminal defense attorney may find a basis to suppress the evidence if there was no valid basis for the search.

Contact Counsel

Getting charged with a crime is a pain but it does not automatically equate with a conviction, so try not to panic and do handle the situation. Many charges have been dismissed with the hard work of an able criminal defense attorney. Get help.

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