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Can I be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia if I was a passenger in a vehicle?

Saint Paul, MN |
Filed under: Criminal defense

The paraphernalia was not found on me, security said they saw me with it. But I was not in possession when police pulled us over

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, you could be charge; however, depending on the facts there may be some good defenses to your case. If it was found under your seat, next to you, or anywhere else where you could easily access it.....this would tend to make their case against you stronger. If it was found out of sight, not in your reach, and it wasn't your car......these are things that would tend to make it a stronger case for your defense. (Please do not give specifics facts about your case online, as these posts are not protected and could possibly be used against you in the future).

Have you been charged?

Also, there may be possible arguments to attack the validity of the officer pulling the car over. Obviously, a thorough review of the evidence would be needed to assess the actual strengths and weaknesses of your case.

In the end, if you are charged, it would be in your best interest to try to obtain a resolution that would keep a conviction off your record.

I hope you find this information helpful and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about your case. I wish you the best of luck.



The officer was informed by security at a gas station that they believe our vehicle had paraphernalia... And they began searching without consent... Is that a valid reason?

Andrew M. Leone

Andrew M. Leone


They need a reasonable suspicion that a crime occured to pull the car over. I think the first attack could be made that they did not have this based only on a security guard "believing" there was paraphernalia in the car. So, there may be a challenge to the stop, which could exclude all the evidence found in the car. Next, they need probable cause to search the car (unless consent was given, which you state was not). Typically, the police report will state that the officer smelled marijuana, or something to that affect. This usually is enough to search, but may not be the situation in your case. It really depends on all the evidence, but there could be reasons to move the court to exclude evidence in your case. Also, if the officer saw something in plain view, then this could give him enough reason to legally search. An example would be that when talking through the window he saw a pipe on the center console (not saying this is your scenario, just an example).



Thanks Andrew... Security said they saw us from cameras in the parking ramp we were exiting... Is that enough validity? The paraphernalia was not viewable and there was no smell because we were not smoking...


Attorney Leone's answer is spot on. I cannot add to it.


Mr. Leone appears to have provided you with a complete and accurate response to your inquiry. I would concur completely.

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