Prosecutors May Charge Both Driver And Passenger With Possession Charges

Interviewer: Let’s say I have someone else driving my car for me, and let’s say we have been smoking Marijuana and we get pulled over driving my car but I’m in a passenger seat and we both get arrested.  What’s going to happen like more than likely?

Matthew Nebeker: The police are going to look to see where, the found stuff, is it found under your seat, is it found under the driver’s seat in the car.  And that’ll be a factor for them deciding who to charge.  They’re going to ask you, they’re going to ask one of you to step up and tell them, admit to who the Marijuana belongs to.  If no one does that, and I don’t suggest that anyone does, I’ve seen prosecutions where they charge both people for the possession of it because both people had access to it, it was in close proximity to both people and potentially, it could have been — it could have blunt either one of you.  But the way that kind of plays out in court is it sues the first one that kind of get to the prosecutor.  I’ve seen this a lot of times that, yes, both people are charged, they both have the Class B possession of Marijuana and maybe something else and the prosecutor will make them a deal, they’ll offer them the diversion program or they’ll offer them, you know, reduce the fine and classes something to get them to plead — reach a plea deal and then, be a witness against the person [inaudible] the other person in the car.

Sometimes if One of the Parties Has Accepted the Responsibility for Possession, the Prosecutors will Charge Both Parties Anyway

That’s kind of how it goes sometimes on that and/or sometimes, I’ve seen clients where they just go in and, they don’t necessarily admit anything to the police officer but after time, they go in and they, admit that the Marijuana was there’s and they’re going to accept responsibility for it, and the client — the other person that was charged will come and tell me and say “Hey, Matt, how come, my friend in the car, he pled too, how can they’re still charging me” and in the cases like that, I will go in and pull the other person’s conviction and report it in short to the prosecutor and see if we can get it dismissed for you.  But that doesn’t always necessarily the case.  Sometimes, the prosecutors will proceed anyway they’ll prosecute both of them and in those cases, we have to go to trial and we have to say “Well, look, the other guy he already pled to it, and he is the one who accept the responsibility.  You should find him not guilty”.

It just kind of depends on, you know, what jurisdiction the prosecuting agency and how they want to proceed on these types of cases.

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