Imagine driving home from your friend’s house. You’ve been smoking marijuana, which isn’t legal yet in Illinois. While marijuana is legal in other places, the only thing that matters is your own state laws.
You didn’t smoke enough to be driving under the influence, so when you were pulled over, you were surprised that the officer asked if you’d been smoking marijuana. What should you say? Would it be best to be honest?
1. Don’t admit to anything
It’s not your responsibility to do the police’s job for them. The police are trained to ask questions that could get you to admit to crimes. The fact is that you don’t have to admit to anything. It’s a much better idea to stay quiet or to ask if you are free to go.
2. State that you don’t consent to searches
If an officer has no reasonable suspicion or evidence that you’ve been smoking or have marijuana in your possession, he or she cannot search your vehicle. The officer will need a warrant without reasonable suspicion. You can state that you do not consent to any searches if the officer asks if he or she may search the vehicle. Ask to see the warrant.
3. Let the officer do his or her job, even if it’s wrong
If the officer attempts to search your vehicle, anyway, don’t fight back. Stand to the side and allow it to happen. You don’t want to have your behavior used against you in court. Additionally, the officer’s illegal search could be enough to eliminate any charges against you in court.
4. Ask for your attorney
You have a right to an attorney. If you’re arrested, tell the police you want your attorney, so you can begin to assert your rights. Don’t talk to the police without your attorney present.
These are a few tips to help you get through a traffic stop where you’re asked about marijuana. Stay calm, and you could drive away without any issues.