Imagine you’re riding in a car through Bloomington. You’re a passenger in your best friend’s car. Unexpectedly, your friend pulls out some marijuana and starts to smoke it while stopped at a red light. You know it’s a bad idea because there’s a police officer in the rearward vehicle. Even worse, you don’t even smoke marijuana!
The next thing you know, the officer pulls your friend over and arrests you both for marijuana possession. This is the definition of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” It’s time to get organized and defend yourself against the criminal charges.
2 common drug possession defenses that could apply
In a situation like this, when you’re accused of drug possession because you were riding in a friend’s car — but the drugs didn’t belong to you — these two drug possession defense strategies might apply:
The drugs didn’t belong to you: One of the most common drug possession defenses involves showing the court why the drugs didn’t belong to you. For example, prosecutors might be able to show that a marijuana cigarette was found in the vehicle you were riding in, but they might not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the marijuana belonged to you. And they might not even be able to prove that you knew they were there.
Improper search and seizure: Another defense that could help someone in a situation like this is to call into question the basis for pulling your friend over in the first place. Perhaps there wasn’t a good or viable reason for police to suspect your friend and pull him over. Alternatively, there may not have existed a viable reason for police to perform a search of the vehicle. If the marijuana was found in “plain view” or if police saw or smelled your friend smoking marijuana, this might be a sufficient reason to perform a search. If the police did not lawfully perform the search and seizure, the charges could be thrown out.
Prepare your criminal defense now
The sooner you start preparing for a criminal defense, the better; there are many actions you can take immediately after your arrest to try and improve your situation. Therefore, if you’ve been accused of drug possession, don’t delay before investigating a viable defense strategy to employ in your case.