Possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia is one of the most common criminal charges that our law firm handles. In many cases, people have been charged with this crime while they were driving their car. Police will pull over a vehicle for various reasons, and an arrest may be made depending on what the officer finds. Being charged with a drug possession crime is a serious offense and should be confronted head-on. It is highly advised that you or a loved one is facing a drug-related crime that you speak with the best criminal defense attorney possible. Below is a list of concerns and questions that should normally be covered in your case review consultation.
Why did police pull your car over?
When an officer pulls you over, there usually needs to be probable cause. This is especially true if they are going to perform a sobriety test or search your vehicle. Experienced lawyers will ask this question to help establish if police had an adequate reason to pull you over in the first place. Causes can include traffic violations such as speeding, swerving, or running a stop sign or red light. They can also include your vehicle’s problems, such as out of date registration tags or a broken taillight. In some cases, your attorney may file a motion to suppress evidence because the arresting police officer did not have enough probable cause to pull you over.
What are the reasons your car was searched?
The purpose of this question is to establish all the things that happened before the arrest. Like many states, Utah does not require an officer to obtain a warrant to search your vehicle. Instead, the officer will need probable cause to search your car for things like an illegal firearm or contraband. A possible defense can be made if you and your attorney determine that the police officer did not have probable cause to search your vehicle.
What questions did the officers ask you?
It is important to be honest with your defense attorney during all aspects of your consultation. Even if the answers are embarrassing, it is better to be ashamed than have your attorney go to court with misinformation. Officers will usually ask questions like, “whose drugs are these?” They may also ask, “how did these narcotics get in your vehicle?” Remember, there is a difference between actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession usually refers to when drugs are found on your actual person, such as in your pocket. Constructive possession is usually applied when the contraband was found in your property that is in your control. For example, in your actual vehicle, in the glove box or under the seat.
Speak with a drug possession defense attorney
Although it is best not to be hostile during the arrest, it is not in your best interest to speak to the police and potentially incriminate yourself. Remember that you have a right to have an attorney present during all questioning as soon as you are arrested. Even though drug possession charges are relatively standard, they should not be taken lightly. If you have been arrested in Utah, contact The Ault Firm today at 801-987-8409 to speak with a legal professional and schedule a case review.