You’re driving home for a break from college when you get pulled over. You know you were speeding, and you regret it, but you think it’s just going to be a five-minute delay and a warning. It’s not a big deal.
But the officer has a dog with them, and the dog alerts on the car. You’re confused, but the officer asks you to pop the trunk, and you do it. There’s no reason not to comply, you think.
Then, the officer finds a bag of illegal drugs. You instantly realize that they belong to your roommate, who borrowed your car and must have forgotten to take them out. Are you now going to jail for drugs that didn’t even belong to you, that you never knew were in your vehicle?
Something like this is almost guaranteed to lead to an arrest. The police officer on the scene has no idea what happened and will not believe you. They’re not just going to take the drugs, give you a speeding ticket, and let you go.
However, you do have defense options. People claim all the time that the drugs they were caught with were not theirs, and they then ask the prosecution to show that this is objectively not true.
For instance, say you have no history of drug use. The drugs were not on you. You were not impaired. The officer saw how surprised you were. All of that can work in your favor, especially if you can prove that your roommate really did borrow your car. Naturally, this is a complex and important process, so you must understand your rights and how to best present your defense.