If you are in possession of drugs and you are pulled over by law enforcement in the Atlanta area or anywhere in Georgia, you face severe penalties if the drugs are discovered and you are ultimately found guilty of possession of drugs, trafficking drugs, and/or other Georgia drug offenses. The only way to ensure that you are not charged with possession of drugs is not to have drugs in your vehicle or in your possession. If you are charged with possession of drugs, you need to contact an experienced drug defense attorney immediately.
The attorneys of Pak and McRae Law will not judge you. We are here to protect your legal rights. Contact our office by calling (678) 632-5298 to discuss the details of your traffic stop and subsequent drug charge. You may also use our online contact form to request a consultation.
Do’s and Don’ts if You Are Pulled Over in Georgia with Drugs in the Vehicle
In most cases, law enforcement pulls you over because of a traffic violation or at a random checkpoint. If you are pulled over by law enforcement and you do have drugs in the vehicle, there are several important things you should know in order to minimize the risk of being charged with drug possession.
- DO be respectful to law enforcement officers. A confrontation will only lead to a search of your vehicle. Be polite and courteous but understand that the officer is not there to make friends—he is there to do his job.
- DON’T voluntarily consent to a search of your vehicle or property, as you are not required by law to do so. The officer must have probable cause in order to search your vehicle. Being cooperative will not result in the officer letting you go or reducing the charge. You will be charged with whatever drug charge the officer can justify regardless of how cooperative you are at the scene.
- DO know your passengers. If your passenger is in possession of drugs when you are pulled over and tries to hide the drugs or drops them in your car, the officer will charge you with drug possession. You are presumed to know what is in your vehicle; therefore, you will take the fall for your passenger’s drug possession if the drugs are found in your vehicle.
- DO keep all required taxes and tags current on your vehicle, and keep your vehicle in good operating condition. Many times a traffic stop for an expired tag or busted tail light will result in a drug possession charge.
- DON’T violate Georgia traffic laws because this gives the officer an excuse to pull you over and possibly find the drugs during the traffic stop.
- DON’T smoke marijuana in your car. The smell of drugs is sufficient probable cause for a police officer to search your vehicle. Trying to cover up the smell of marijuana as the officer is approaching is a definite indicator that something is wrong and the officer will likely search your vehicle.
- DON’T try to evade police officers. If you try to run and you are caught, you will be charged with other crimes in addition to a likely drug possession charge. Furthermore, running from a police officer is dangerous. It puts your life and the lives of others at risk.
- DON’T attract unnecessary attention to your vehicle. Profiling is a common tactic used to identify individuals who may be in possession of drugs. Regardless of whether this is morally or ethically correct, profiling is a technique used by law enforcement. Do not have your windows tinted darker than allowed by law and avoid “tricking out” your vehicle.
- DON’T give law enforcement more evidence to use against you in court. Trying to explain “your side of the story” or trying to “outsmart” law enforcement officers is not a wise choice. You have the right to remain silent—use it. If you are arrested for drug possession, do not discuss the charges with the officers or provide a statement. Invoke your right to remain silent except for requesting an attorney. Be specific but polite: “I invoke my right to remain silent and not to answer any questions without my attorney present. I want to speak to my attorney.”
Have you been charged with drug possession in Georgia?
Do not ignore a drug possession charge or assume you will do okay representing yourself. Georgia is tough on drugs and the punishment for a conviction on drug possession can be severe. Call the experienced drug defense attorneys of Pak and McRae Law at (678) 632-5298 to discuss defense strategies to dismiss your drug charge and/or minimize the sentence for a drug conviction.