Should I tell the cops I have weed in the car? I don’t want to lie to the police.
Getting pulled over sucks, it sucks worse if you have weed in the car. At best you get a warning and just lose a few minutes of your time. At worst, you get arrested for and go to jail facing the prospect of more jail and fines in your future.
The goal of most people who get pulled over with pot in the car is not to get arrested. That’s an ok goal, but doing things that might make the police like you more, also make your case more difficult for me if you do get arrested.
“Do you have any drugs in your vehicle?”
Take the typical bullshit joint-in-the-console case. You get pulled over a d the officer asks if you have any drugs in the car. Time out- the only reason an officer asks you about drugs in the car, is because they think you have drugs in the car. If you are asked, you fit their profile.
I’m an old white guy and drive a Lincoln. Cops don’t ask me to search or if I have any drugs on me. Contrast my current situation with teenage Robbie who had long hair and smoked Camel Lights in his kick-ass Mustang. Teenage Robbie got asked about drugs all the time. Why? Because cops assume a) teenagers love pot and b) they are too dumb to know their rights so they make for easy busts.
Back to our scenario. You get pulled over with a joint in the console and the officer asks if you have any drugs in the car. You are probably thinking “it’s just a joint, who gives a shit, surely this officer has better things to do than bust me for a stupid fucking joint? So why not just own up to it and see if the cop is cool?”
I get it; some cops are cool and have better things to do than get all excited about a pot arrest. But, BUT, you don’t know if you have a cool cop with real work to do; or a cop who hates weed, or just hates people, and is bored to tears patrolling the streets of Bumblefart, Texas.
You also don’t know how your local DA’s office deal with simple possession cases. Some DA’s are rational about these cases (Dallas) while others some treat pot like a real “crime” and even set arbitrary age limits on who can get diversion deals (Rockwall, Kaufman etc). So you might be facing years of real probation for less than 2 ounces of your dank buds.
You are taking a huge risk with limited information by being Mr. Honest Pot Smoker. If you do confess to possession you also give me fewer options to litigate your case.
By confessing the State can prove you possessed weed and knew it was in the car, you also gave the cop PC to search by being so honest.
So what to do if you are carrying and don’t want to lie to the cops?
You never have to lie to the police, even though most people do when asked about drugs in the car. A better option is to politely ask for a lawyer and tell the officer you’d rather not answer any questions and that you wish to remain silent. Then, actually remain silent. The officer will try to find some PC to get in the car, but at least you didn’t consent so we have some angles to litigate this thing on the back end.
Yeah, but how is that going to go over?
Probably not well, the officer may get really pissed and threaten you or say he’s going to call out the drug dog. Don’t fall for it. Keep insisting on talking with a lawyer, and letting the officer know you want to remain silent and ask if you are free to go.
If you do those things and still get arrested you at least give me something to work with if we go to court. If not, we are at the mercy of the prosecutor and the case becomes focused on punishment and not guilt/innocence.