How can I be charged with possession if I was unaware of illlegal substances in my car?

I was recently stopped while driving for “following too closely,” then the officer stated he thought he smelled marajuana and asked if there was anything illegal in the car. I did not know of anything illegal in the car, therefore responded, “Not that I am aware of.” Then he asked if he could search the car, i said no because i had been food shopping and had to get home. Then they brought a dog to sniff the car and said they were going to search the car. They say they found a pipe with marajuana in it, and arrested me with possession. I was not aware of anything in my car, what do i do?

Asked on May 30, 2009 under Criminal Law, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to speak with a criminal attorney, preferably one that practices in the area in which this all happened.  He will more than likely have contacts within the prosecutor's office.  This can be of enormous benefit in a case such as this.  Possibly he can get the charges dropped or reduced.  There are no guarantees but if you are a "first-time" offender that will weigh heavily in your favor.  Even if the charges aren't dropped, there's a chance that they can be reduced and/or you could receive some form of alternate sentencing that will enable you to end up with a clean criminal record.

Again you will need an attorney to help you out here.  Just saying that you "did not know" won't be enough.  Everyone says that.  Also, this begs the question, just whose stuff was this?  That can open up another can of worms.


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