The cop said he smelled pot

Question: I was arrested for marijuana possession in Forsyth County. I was driving and the deputy pulled me over for speeding. I was only going like 10 miles over the speed limit, at least that's what the cop said. When he pulled me over I asked him why he pulled me over and how fast he thought I was moving.

I probably shouldn't have said anything because I think he could smell the pot on my breath because I'd just been smoking, or he may have smelled the weed in the car, I'm not sure.

When the cop asked if I'd been smoking marijuana at first I said yes, but then I said that I hadn't been. Finally, after he said he could smell it, I admitted that I smoked it, but I said that I'm not a regular user.

After a little while he arrested me for pot possession because I admitted that I had a small joint in the car and I told him that I got it from a friend who lives in Alpharetta, but isn't a drug dealer or anything like that.

I really don't need a drug crime on my record; I know employers hate seeing that. I feel like the cop made me speak to him and then he could smell the pot. Did I have to speak to the Forsyth County deputy? Is there anything I can do to get rid of the pot charge?

D.W. in Cumming, GA

Answer: You only needed to tell the Forsyth deputy sheriff your name and to give him your license and registration, if he asks for it. You certainly don't have to have an extended conversation with a police officer.

In fact, it's best to say as little as possible to a cop. If you speak to a police officer who has just stopped your vehicle, then you might say something that can be used against you, which is what happened to you. Many people, following a traffic stop, are tricked or voluntarily share too much information and find themselves in legal trouble.

We need to speak with you and investigate to determine what evidence the police and prosecutors have against you. Then we can certainly make recommendations about your next best steps to defend the charge.

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