I received a Citation for Open/Consume Marijuana in Public in Washington State. I had been smoking in my parked car on my own property which is over 75 feet in each direction from any public road or property, as well as unable to be seen unless an individual walks through the property itself. The officer responded to a phone complete stating that I had been smoking in a public parking lot. The officers arrived and issued me the citation about 20minutes after I had been smoking. However, when I received the infraction I noticed several discrepancies. First the infraction states that I had been smoking on a public road/highway however as I stated earlier I own the parking lot as well as the surrounding area, the keys were not in the ignition, as well as having never been turned on. Second the officer states that the infraction was "Did then and there commit the follow offense". Seeing that none of these facts seem to line up and I am 21 years old and have committed no prior offenses of any kind. What should my course of action be.....? Mitigation Hearing, Contested, or simply pay the fine?? And do I have seem to have ground for a decent case if contested.
Sincerely, Concerned Individule
1 Answer from Attorneys
Sounds to me like you should contest it. True it is only an infraction, but at your age you never know where you will be years from now. If that infraction is paid or mitigated it will show on your record as committed, and could potentially reflect poorly on you in the future.
You point out some interesting defenses, you certainly have legal issues to work with. If winning the case is important to you, I would recommend you hire a lawyer to make sure that all possible defenses are explored. You might win this case on an issue that you haven't even considered yet.
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