Legal Question in Traffic Law in North Carolina

pulled for speeding, car search, small amount of marijuana

My son was recently pulled in Nashville N.C. with a friend who was going 5 miles over the speed limit. The officer then asked permission to search the car. Not knowing their rights they said yes. The officer then found a very small amount of pot ( less than 1/8) in a zip lock bag in my sons overnight bag. He then gave him a citation to appear in court on Aug. 2nd. He told him he was more than likely looking at an hour lecture along with a 250.00 fine. Could you please advise me if this is correct and if it would be in his best interest to hire an attorney. He has never even had a traffic violation in Va. much less N.C and is of 18 years of age by 2 weeks.

Thank you.

Asked on 6/21/05, 6:51 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy Burch Burch Law Office
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Re: pulled for speeding, car search, small amount of marijuana

In N.C., your son will have the opportunity to have this charge dismissed against him under N.C.G.S. 90-96. He will need to do a few things, such as obtain a drug and alcohol assessment, and enroll in a drug education program within a short time after going to court. At a later time, he would be entitled to have this charge expunged from his record, but it does not happen automatically. For all of these reasons, I suggest you contact an attorney to handle this matter. Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

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Answered on 6/23/05, 3:38 am
Brian Miller Brian M. Miller, Attorney at Law
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Re: pulled for speeding, car search, small amount of marijuana

It is advisable to get an attorney under these circumstances or at least to consult with a criminal defense attorney in Nashville. I am a Virginia attorney and cannot advise you as to how they handle things in North Carolina.

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Answered on 6/21/05, 6:59 am
Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: pulled for speeding, car search, small amount of marijuana

Again, this is another example of why noone, under any circumstances, should voluntarily consent to a police search of his or her vehicle after a traffic stop. It is, apparently, a little known fact that you are entitled to say no(and should) to the officer's request to conduct such a search.

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Answered on 6/21/05, 7:38 am
Jonathon Moseley Office of Jonathon Moseley
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Re: pulled for speeding, car search, small amount of marijuana

I am not licensed in N.C. and do not know N.C. law, but I am immediately suspicious when you write that the pot was found in your sons overnight bag. Searching a car is NOT typically the same thing as opening up luggage inside the car. This will depend on N.C. law, or perhaps Federal, but I seem to remember that permission to search the car means searching the car, not opening up bags of luggage inside the car. I could be wrong on that, but that is a question I would have explored.

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Answered on 6/22/05, 5:10 pm

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