Can a person receive a ticket for drug possession simply because they were a passenger in a car and the driver was the one who was in actual possession?

My 17 year old son was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for speeding. There were a total of 4 boys in the car. The officer states that he smelled marijuana when he stopped them. All of the boys were searched, the only drugs found were on the driver. The driver was arrested. My son was given a ticket for posession because he was in the car. Is this a valid ticket?

Asked on November 14, 2014 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is likely that it is not.  Actual possession is an element of the crime and for prosecution.  But the charge is very serious so I would speak with an attorney asap in order to get the matter taken care of.  Good luck.

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