When you decide to go out for a night of fun with your friends, the possibility of a traffic stop might be the last thing on your mind. If there are illegal drugs in the vehicle, though, you should consider the potential implications of going along for the ride.
Simply being in the presence of drugs can come with heavy consequences, even if you think that an officer will heed your explanation. You can protect yourself and your freedoms by understanding what to do if an officer finds you in a vehicle with drugs that do not belong to you.
What does the law say about drug possession?
Colorado controlled substance laws outline the offense levels for possessing various quantities of illegal drugs. If an officer finds controlled substances in a communal area of a vehicle, he or she may assume that any passenger could be in violation of the law regardless of who owns or drives the vehicle. Unless a container label or other substantial evidence points to a specific person as the possessor, you can receive a drug charge based on the basis of constructive possession.
How can you fight a drug possession charge?
It is important to avoid volunteering unnecessary information during a traffic stop or arrest. You might be liable to accidentally admit to ownership of illegal substances during this stressful situation. Once your legal counsel is present, you can begin building a defense against a wrongful drug possession charge.
Keep in mind that you can find yourself facing a criminal charge even if there are drugs present in a vehicle’s trunk or glovebox. Always be aware of what substances might be present in a vehicle before you agree to hit the road.