420 Legal Defense Plan
Despite the City of Austin’s plans to unveil an 8ft bronze statue of Willie at 4:20pm today (this is really happening), APD has much less of a sense of humor about the green-headed stranger. So, we tapped Charlie Roadman — an attorney known for his yearly “Marijuana Law For Musicians” lecture as well as a nearly spotless possession dismissal record — to address scenarios that just seem to happen to burners:
You’re driving down IH-35 just a wee bit above the legally stipulated limit for hybrids and other cars that aren’t hybrids, with a still-warm bubbler resting in the cup-holder, when you see the flashing lights…
If you are lucky, you will only get a class C ticket for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (up to $500 fine). However, if the cop finds a usable amount of marijuana anywhere in the car, you could go to jail for possession (class B misdemeanor). The worst scenario is a DWI charge — if the officer thinks you have lost the normal use of your mental and/or physical faculties due to marijuana use.
…then while talking to the officer your cell phone ring-tone erupts the chorus from Afroman’s “Because I Got High”.
The officer will not recognize or pay attention to the Afroman song. He will just want you to turn it off.
At ACL you’re trying to smoke this annoying cigarette that takes like three or four tries to light and doesn’t even keep burning, when you get a tap on the shoulder by a guy wearing an un-ironic Security shirt…
They’ll most likely just kick you out, but they could hold you until a real cop shows up as a citizens arrest. It’s tough to predict what private security will do.
…then you point to the stage and exclaim, “Woah, is that a holographic Willie Nelson?!!?”, and break into a sprint.
If the security guy is a police officer you will be arrested for possession of marijuana and evading arrest. Either way, expect to get a little roughed up when they catch you. Running in general is a bad idea because of the possible unintended consequences, like someone having a heart attack, escalating the case into a felony manslaughter charge.
It’s a brisk spring evening and you’re on your front porch leisurely taking care of a nasty roach infestation when an officer pulls into your driveway like he’s your roommate or something…
Your backyard would be different, but if you’re seen from the street they’ll arrest you.
…but luckily you immediately duck inside your house, lock the door, and turn off the lights so there’s nothing he can do, right?
The officer may try to use the “Hot Pursuit” exception to the general search warrant requirement as an excuse to follow you into your house on the claim that he saw the roaches and was arresting you for possession. Of course, you can argue to the judge that this wasn’t true. Good luck.
A buddy needed to borrow some oregano to cook a delicious dinner, so you meet him near his house at the corner of 12th and Chicon to lend him an ounce of herb and just as he’s offering you a few dollars for your troubles, an officer rolls by and asks what’s for dinner…
Unless it’s actually oregano, you’ll be arrested.
…then your friend tells him he plans on roasting a pig.
Certainly expect to tazed. They could say that “roasting a pig” is a threat — in which case you will find yourself charged with the felony “Obstruction/Retaliation” for threatening a public servant.
You’re at Austin Bergstrom in the security line and take off your shoes to be scanned and for some reason you have a stinky bag of “duty free” right there in your shoe…
Obviously, you will be arrested on the state charge.
….and you also have some brownies in your bag that the Homeland Security officer’s dog is very interested in.
I have no idea what Homeland Security will do with you. Guantanamo? Abu Ghraib? Extraordinary rendition? It won’t be good.
Get so much more advice at http://www.roadmanlaw.com/