Traffic Stops and Marijuana Possession Arrest
Madison Criminal Defense Attorney provides insight to traffic stops and marijuana possession
While many states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, Wisconsin still considers marijuana possession a crime. This means that if you have marijuana in your car when you are driving, you can be arrested if the police officers discover it during a traffic stop. If you have been arrested for marijuana possession, you need legal representation right away.
Possession and Probable Cause
Most traffic stops in Wisconsin are fairly routine. If your vehicle smells like marijuana, though, you can be in trouble. The scent is enough to give a police officer probable cause to search your vehicle. He or she has the right to look through the vehicle and to search anyone in it. If the officer then finds marijuana, however small the amount, you can be arrested for possession. A first offense is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months. Additional offenses are felonies, and the potential fine goes up to $10,000, and prison for up to three and a half years.
Unless the laws change, you need to avoid possessing marijuana in your vehicle. If you are arrested, though, you still have rights. You can challenge whether the officer had the right to pull you over in the first place, or challenge other procedures if needed. Finally, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a deal to lessen the penalties or the crime to which you plead.
Don’t consent to allow the officer to search your car. You have a constitutional right not to answer questions–so don’t incriminate yourself. If you are arrested, go peacefully. When you have the opportunity, contact an attorney experienced in marijuana criminal defense work.
Anytime you are arrested, you have legal rights. Eisenberg Law Offices can help you understand and protect those rights. If you have been arrested for marijuana possession after a traffic stop, contact us online or at (608) 256-8356 for an experienced and compassionate legal defense.