All too often clients call me and say, "The marijuana wasn't mine"! And really, it wasn't. The problem is, police officers and prosecutors hear this claim of innocence everyday and simply dismiss it as untrue. They cite to "constructive possession" and arrest everyone "if nobody claims it." Well, the last time I checked, police officers have a duty NOT to arrest innocent people. And prosecutors have a duty to administer justice, not simply seek convictions.
My friends are police officers. And very good police officers, I might add. The problem rests with those other officers who don't know what to do when there are drugs in the car and nobody claims it. Rather than perform some deductive reasoning (Person A was in the front seat, the drugs were found in the front seat, therefore Person A had to be in possession of the drugs), they arrest everyone at the scene and "let the court figure it out." Not cool.
As if busy prosecutors don't have enough to do, they are now tasked with this convoluted fact pattern that has little or no investigative support. Did the officer actually interview everyone to determine who possessed the marijuana, or simply ask everyone to incriminate themselves? Are there facts in the report to support possession by everyone? Unfortunately, the prosecutors do not have enough time to do anything other than read the police report…written by the police officer who arrested you…and attempt to punish you. Do you think anyone will believe your side of the story, or even have the time to listen? Nope.
I've seen the devastating effects that a wrongful conviction can have on a person and their family. Just perform a Google search with the words "wrongful conviction" and thousands of articles are available for your viewing pleasure. Most of those people were just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Unfortunately, their entire lives changed and nobody stood up for them until an appeal commenced.
I went to school to become a lawyer, because I wanted to help people. Whether I was a prosecutor and put bad people in jail, or I am a defense attorney and help people with their problems. It's what I do. It's who I am.
The next time you say or hear someone else say "the marijuana wasn't mine," call me. I'd like to know whose it was, and help you achieve justice.
Cumming , Dahlonega , and North Georgia representation.