Can 5 ppl be charged with possession of marijuana in one incident? They are minors & no drugs were found.

My son was in a car that was pulled over for a headlight out, the driver had no license. The officer stated he smelled marijuana, pulled out all 5 kids searched & questioned them. Gave them all summons for possession of marijuana, but there were no drugs found in the car. The car was released to a licensed driver. The officer lied to me twice, he initially stated my son had weed on his lap & it was all over the car & that my son admitted to smoking weed earlier in the day. He said he would show & test the weed in front of me. Naturally I wanted to see it. At the end of the night, He stated he misspoke & didn't have to show me what he found. If there were drugs in the car isn't the car impounded for evidence?Can they all be charged or should the owner of the car be charged?My son is 17 HELP

Leesburg, VA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Jonathan L Katz

Jonathan L Katz

Criminal Defense Attorney - Fairfax, VA
Answered

Your questions raises several issues, including: Assuming for argument's sake that marijuana was found, the law permits a guilty finding for joint possession (defining possession as knowledge, dominion and control), which of course must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. My article on marijuana smell is listed below. All the best ot your son.

My website's disclaimer page at http://katzjustice.com/disclaimer.htm applies to all my answers on AVVO.com .
John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

Sounds like your son encountered a rogue cop. If he can't come up with evidence of drugs the case will have to be dismissed. His sense of smell is enough to justify a search but not enough to convict. Quit talking to this dingbat.

Rebecca A Nitkin

Rebecca A Nitkin

Criminal Defense Attorney - Rockville, MD
Answered

Sir, we are in an age where the police are controlling our streets. Every day our kids get pulled over for no reason, forced out of the car and searched. they are handcuffed and the car is searched without any reason and a few seeds are found on the floor. They collect the seeds, no one sees them, send them to a lab for testing and it comes back "trace". In the meantime, the kids were issued a citation for paraphernalia and told to get out of here with the car.

They lie. they always say they smell pot even when it is only a seed that is found. Then they take the stand and say they smelled pot. the inference is the kids were smoking it in the car. The smell is reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot which gives them the right to search everyone according to the Supreme Court case Pringle amongst others. That is why they always say they smell pot.

You arrived on the scene. maybe nothing will happen. however, they are juveniles so that is handled differently. In my jurisdiction you would get an invitation to do a police run program. I decline. If you decline you are threatened with Juvenile Justice. I pick that because the police run program is just a way for the police to memorize your kids to pull them over later. The Department of Juvenile Justice is great for these BS cases. they know what is going on in the street. I say my peace and they have been closing them out. Stop talking to the police. It NEVER helps, only HURTS!

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