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Police Let Me Go After Finding Drugs: 5 Things It Could Mean

Police Let Me Go After Finding Drugs - If Drugs Are Found In Your Car Who Is Responsible - Who Is Responsible If Drugs Are Found In Car

What does it mean if the police let me go after finding drugs?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • whether police will let you go after finding drugs
  • WHY police would let you go (it’s not to your benefit)
  • what if the drugs weren’t yours
  • what about in weed legal states

Let’s dig in.

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What Does It Mean If The Police Let Me Go After Finding Drugs?

There are three different types of scenarios here:

  • the police found small amounts of drugs (personal use amounts)
  • the police found large amounts of drugs (resale or distribution amounts)
  • states that weed is legal in

We can get an idea of what “personal use” means by the laws in each state.

For example, up 1/2 ounce of marijuana in Tennessee is a misdemeanor drug charge.

And anything over a 1/2 ounce is a felony for sale or distribution.

But in North Carolina, up to 42 grams is a misdemeanor.

Police Let You Go After Finding Drugs For Personal Use

Let’s say that the police let you go after finding drugs that are personal amounts.

Law enforcement will usually just have you throw out and destroy the drugs if you:

  • don’t give them any trouble during the stop
  • are honest with them
  • own up to having marijuana on you

Police will usually let you go after finding drugs for personal use because they:

  • are near the end of their shift
  • don’t want to waste time on small amounts of drugs
  • are slammed with more serious calls
  • have other, more serious traffic violations that they are writing you up for
  • know the jail is overbooked and it’s not worth bringing you in
  • don’t think it’s worth giving you charges

Some police will let you go because it’s not worth:

  • spending a few hours waiting on the tow truck to come to get your car
  • transporting you to jail
  • filling out and filing paperwork
  • logging the evidence with the police department

Note that sometimes police will let you go after finding drugs to find your supplier.

This is true even if they find small, personal amounts of drugs on you.

Most large drug busts start with a personal user giving up their dealers.

Some police care to try to flip every person they find with drugs.

Other police don’t care so much about finding everyone’s supplier.

Police Let You Go After Finding Drugs For Distribution

Let’s say that the police let you go after finding drugs that are distribution amounts.

Most likely, the police let you go so that they could:

  • get your contact information (you’re now the informant)
  • follow you to see where you go after you lost the drugs
  • get you to testify against your supplier
  • get back their drugs if it belongs to the police department
  • come back for a warranted police search (warrantless searches may get dismissed)

Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The police will be back:

  • with a search warrant on legitimate probable cause
  • to arrest you under criminal charges for drug possession

In the meantime, make sure that you:

  • don’t contact or go meet your dealer or anyone inside your network
  • get rid of any other drugs that you have possession of
  • hire a criminal defense lawyer (or at least start reaching out to them for free consultations)
  • tell law enforcement “You’ll have to speak to my attorney” when they show up

The police are building a criminal case against you for drug crimes.

It’s also their goal to:

  • find your supplier
  • find who is in your network
  • find more illegal drugs when they come back
  • catch you doing criminal activities with warranted police searches
  • NOT do an illegal search on you, which can have the case thrown out

States That Weed Is Legal In

For states where weed is legal, will police let you go after finding drugs?

Just because weed is legal doesn’t mean you’re allowed to have it out in public.

Weed is only legal for use in a private location.

This means in someone’s home and not out in your car in public.

Let’s say that the police let you go after finding drugs in a weed-legal state.

This can be for any of the following reasons:

  • You’re following the laws and transporting them legally.
  • The police officer is near the end of his shift
  • The officer doesn’t want to waste his time with a small amount of marijuana.
  • Calls are backed up.
  • It’s not worth the paperwork and time to mess with charging you.
  • They don’t care if you have personal use amounts on you

If Drugs Are Found In Your Car Who Is Responsible?

The owner of the car is responsible if drugs are found in your car by police.

Police hold you responsible for “constructive possession.”

Constructive possession is when drugs are found in a location you are in control of.

The driver of the car is automatically assumed to have responsibility for drugs found by police.

Note that the police can find both you and the owner of the drugs responsible.

You both can receive a drug possession charge that goes on your criminal records.

What If The Drugs Found In The Car Are Not Mine?

When police find drugs in your car that aren’t yours, they have to prove constructive possession.

This means they will have to prove that you knew about the drugs and had control over them.

For example, let’s say the drugs are found in your car in a traffic stop:

  • were in plain view on the seat or floor next to you
  • are in a car that you own

In this case, it’s fairly easy for them to pin you with constructive possession.

Let’s say that:

  • someone else is in the car
  • someone else uses the car
  • the car is not yours

In these cases, it’s tougher for the police to charge you for drugs that are not yours.

But what if the drugs found in the car are not yours and:

  • there are multiple people in the car
  • the drugs were found close to you (i.e., under your seat)

In this case, the police would try to get everyone in the car with “joint constructive possession.”

Where they charge everyone in the car with possession of the drugs found.

FAQs About Police Letting You Go After Finding Drugs

Let’s talk about some other questions we get about police letting you go after finding drugs.

Can Someone Else Take Responsibility For A Drug Charge?

Yes, someone else can take responsibility for a drug charge.

But that does not mean that the court system will let the other person off.

Police can charge both people involved.

Someone else taking responsibility for drugs won’t eliminate that possibility.

Is It Illegal To Be High As A Passenger?

It’s safe to assume that it’s illegal to be high as a passenger.

There’s a grey line between alcohol intoxication laws and marijuana intoxication laws.

Whether it’s illegal to be high as a passenger depends on your state’s intoxication laws.

In Texas, police can arrest you if they suspect you are high as a passenger.

In Utah, police can arrest you if you are endangering others while being high as a passenger.

In Missouri, police can arrest you for having drugs in your system.

Can You Get Arrested For Having Weed In Your Car?

Yes, you can get arrested for having weed in your car.

Even if the weed is not yours, police can arrest you for possession of weed.

This is because you own the car and the weed in the car is your responsibility.

What To Do If Police Let You Go After Finding Drugs

Fill out the form below to get in touch with the best criminal defense attorneys. 

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means that you don’t wrongfully go to jail.

We also make sure that your judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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