What can happen if you are a passenger in a car in which the police find drugs?

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What can happen if you are a passenger in a car in which the police find drugs?

My 19 year old son got a ride home from a co-worker along with another person. The co-worker driver was pulled over by an officer. It turns out the co-worker driver had pot in his car. My son has to appear in court now along with the other 2 people. From what I am told they where not smoking it. The officer searched the car and found it. What is my son facing?

Asked on October 1, 2011 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

Mike Harvath / Harvath Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

     Hi.  I am a Missouri attorney that handles criminal defense matters.  Depending upon the type of drug at issue, the amount of the drug present, whether your son has any prior convictions or charges, and even what jurisdiction the stop occurred in, we are typically able to work out a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney that will avoid a conviction, keep the charge from scarring your son's permanent record, and keep him from serving potential jail time.

     A drug possession conviction is one that could affect your son's future ability to obtain employment and most criminal defense attorneys are able to work out an amendment of the charges to a lesser offense.  Often, what is referred to as an "SIS" or "suspended imposition of sentence" can be worked out with the prosecuting attorney.  This will result in the charge being dismissed, so long as your son does not get in trouble during the period of probation.  In some cases, a complete dismissal of the charge can be obtained.  However, the amount of the substance, and a few other details are needed to determine the potential outcome of these charges.

     For convenience, I can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].  Website-www.harvathmissouriillinoislawyers.com.

NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.  The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The biggest question is--has your son been charged? If he has been charged, then that's because the authorities believe that he was a user, possessor, etc. of at least some of the drugs--and that they have enough evidence to show this. You son should get a criminal defense attorney immediately. As for what you son could be facing if charged, it depends: what type of drugs? how many/much? first offense or not? etc. In short, there are too many variables to answer this question, other than to say that wheven charged with drug possession, etc., you should get an attorney.

If you son has not been charged, then he might be being called to testify. It would still be a good idea to get an attorney to look out for his interests. He should also remembe that he has a constitutional right to not say anything that will incriminate him.


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