You Can be Arrested even if something isn't on You!

Let's imagine you decide to go out on Friday night with several of your friends. You don't smoke marijuana - or do any type of drugs - but your friends do. They're still your friends, and you just let it go. You're heading to a party, and they decide to fire up a joint. Everyone is having a good time - even you - when all of the sudden you see the red flashing lights behind you. You know how this ends; the officer smells marijuana and ends up finding a baggie in the car. You correctly tell the officer that you weren't doing anything - he hasn't heard that before, right? - but you still get arrested.

Busted for pot

So what happens from there? Possession is defined by Texas law as "care, custody or control". Texas law also says that more than one person can "possess" something, which is why everyone in the car got arrested. When the item is not on you, the focus is on knowledge and access. While it's not enough to show you knew there was marijuana in the car, you probably still had access to it - especially if it was out in the open. So how would you defend against that?

There are a number of ways to do that, but none of them are foolproof. Even if your friend(s) claim it was theirs, the police - and the court - may believe they are just covering for you.

The moral of the story is this: Don't think that just because you're not using drugs - whatever it is - or they aren't on you, that you are in the clear. So don't get yourself in that position. If you are able to eventually get the charges dismissed, you still had to spend money on bond, got a free trip to the jail, and had to pay a lawyer. It's a pretty high price to pay for something that you can avoid.

Don't think the problem is going to simply go away

I've seen far too many people mistakenly believe that the problem is going to simply go away. After all, if you aren't guilty, someone will figure that out right? Unfortunately, that is almost never the case. Once you're arrested everyone assumes you are guilty. That's why you need someone to present your side of your story. And you need to do that sooner rather than later. I've seen it happen more than a few times that a person who someone thought was a friend decides to dump the blame on them to get themselves out of trouble. The threat of a criminal conviction can be a great motivator. By the time you figure out they aren't really a friend, it's too late.

If you, a child or family member are in this situation, you need to contact a lawyer immediately to get the help you need. We have handled hundreds of these cases and will be happy to talk with you. Don't wait until it's too late.

P.S. If you want to know more about this, download our free book - "Don't Let your Future Go up in Smoke".

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.