Chicago, IL asked in Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Arkansas

Q: Had about 5 or 6 grams of cannabis & an open liquor bottle. Are either of those proper possessions of crime?

Got pulled over for speeding on high way. Searched the vehicle after I admitted to where the small amount of cannabis was and he charged me with that and the liquor bottle as possessions of crime

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joshua W. Bugeja
Joshua W. Bugeja
  • Fort Smith, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: Arkansas Code Annotated § 5-71-218 specifically addresses the criminal offense of "possession of an open container containing alcohol in a motor vehicle." Since your question doesn't provide enough factual details to compare the situation to the statute, it is difficult to state whether or not that is a "proper" charge or not and you should look at the requirements of that statute (known as "elements" of the crime).

A.C.A. § 5-64-215 classifies marijuana as a "Schedule VI Substance." A.C.A. § 5-64-419 specifically addresses unlawful possession of marijuana and, under that statute, the weight in question utilizes ounces, as opposed to grams like your question (make sure not to confuse those by the way as that will make a huge difference in the analysis) to determine misdemeanor vs felony status of that offense. You didn't mention a medical marijuana prescription so I won't delve into that area as it may needlessly complicate this discussion. In any event, it is possible that is also a "proper" charge per the facts presented.

It is entirely possible that a probable cause to search/consent argument may be worth exploring for suppression considerations but, like many criminal defense questions, this analysis is so dependent upon specific facts for the incident and subsequent arrest that I recommend you speak with an attorney who can analyze the case in more detail.

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