If a roommate has a warrant for his arrest and the police entered and saw marijuana in my room, can I be charged for it?

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If a roommate has a warrant for his arrest and the police entered and saw marijuana in my room, can I be charged for it?

My roommate had a warrant out for his arrest for bail jumping. I was at work at the time but my girlfriend was sleeping in my room. The police forcibly entered and began searching for my roommate. My bedroom door was cracked and the police saw a quantity of marijuana behind my TV, separated into 1/8ths ounces. They confiscated it and threatened to arrest my girlfriend but did not. They want me to go talk to a drug detective. Can I be charged if I was not listed on the search warrant and the marijuana was not in a common area?

Asked on April 24, 2012 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged with possession of marijuana because when the police are executing a warrant, any contraband they see is considered to be in plain view.  Contraband in plain view of the police is admissible evidence.  It is irrelevant that the police were on the premises to arrest someone else when they spotted the marijuana. It is also irrelevant that the location of the marijuana was not in a common area because the police can search the entire house looking for your roommate.


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