If a friend you were with was illegally carrying marijuana and a police officer searched him, would you also be charged with some kind of accomplice to possession or something?

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If a friend you were with was illegally carrying marijuana and a police officer searched him, would you also be charged with some kind of accomplice to possession or something?

Asked on February 16, 2013 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the dope was found on your friend's person and there was no reason to believe that you were involved, then normally, the cops won't arrest you.  There are exceptions, however, if the officer can show that you aided your friend somehow.  For example, if the officer saw the two of you making unusual movements and your friend said it was your dope-- but he was just holding it for you because you asked him to-- then he would have probable cause to arrest you as a co-defendant.  Absent some other evidence, though, you are not likely to be charged merely for being near the friend.


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