Citation for a small plastic bad with marijuana residue. What do I do now?

My friend was pulled over for going 40mph on a 35mph road (this is what the officer said he pulled him over for) My friend agreed to a search of his car but to my suprise the officers started to search me and the other 3 passengers. The officer searching me said it was a search for weapons and after patting me down he went through all my pockets and even had me unzip my pants to search the shorts underneath. He finds a small plastic bag with marijuana residue in it and gives me a citation and says a court date will be mailed. What can I do in this situation? Was the search on me and the other passengers legal?

Silver Spring, MD -

Attorney Answers (3)

Jeffrey Lewis Kaplan

Jeffrey Lewis Kaplan

Criminal Defense Attorney - Baltimore, MD
Answered

If you did not consent to a search of your body he can only pat you down for weapons. He can't search your pockets if he doesn't have cause to believe there is a weapon. I'd say you have a good case if properly represented.

Florian Eqrem Tabaku

Florian Eqrem Tabaku

Criminal Defense Attorney - Bethesda, MD
Answered

As the previous poster states, you cannot be searched unless you consented to it. Your friend would not have had the authority to consent to you being searched You should contact an attorney immediately to review your case in greater detail and get the best possible outcome for you.
Feel free to contact me if you wish.

Legal disclaimer: Mr. Tabaku may be reached at (240) 750-4663 or fetabaku@tabakulaw.com. Mr. Tabaku is an attorney... more
Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Criminal Defense Attorney - Rockville, MD
Answered

It sounds like a really bad search, way past the allowable pat down for officer safety. These cases can be handled many ways, first by your lawyer convincing the State's Attorney's Office to drop the charges based on the incident report which may, or may not, show the unreasonable basis for the search; or, failing that, a motion to suppress the search made at trial, with a favorable ruling by the judge. then again, police officers are known to lie, or embellish the facts enough, so as to establish a probable cause basis for, or even allege that you consented to, the extended search. Assuming that this case is in Montgomery County, and is a first offense, you would also be eligible to complete a diversion program without having to risk going to trial, and will result in the dismissal of the charges in exchange for you completing community service hours and a drug class. Even were you to go to trial and be found guilty, you would almost certainly be able to avoid a conviction or record of guilt. Call a criminal defense lawyer and take care of these charges so that you do not end up with a record and you get these charges expunged from public view and removed from any background checks.

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