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Nicole Bettendorf
Nicole Bettendorf
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 558

It’s Just a Little Pot in my Motor Vehicle: What’s The Big Deal?

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Our office receives a significant number of telephone calls from people seeking advice about being charged with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle. Most of time these people tell me, “it’s only pot, what’s the big deal.” Possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle may be a bigger deal than most people think. In fact, most people, especially hunters are shocked when I tell them why they need to be concerned.

In Minnesota, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle “if the person is the owner of a private motor vehicle, or is the driver of the motor vehicle if the owner is not present, and possesses on the person, or knowingly keeps or allows to be kept within the area of the vehicle more than 1.4 grams of marijuana.” A misdemeanor is a crime, and a person convicted of a misdemeanor may face a potential of 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Most people convicted of possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle will have the 90 days jail “stayed,” which means that person does not serve any jail time. The fine is usually not $1,000.00 either. So if most people do not serve any jail time, and only pay a few hundred dollars fine, what’s the bid deal?

If you enjoy hunting or just possess a pistol, semiautomatic military-style assault weapon or any other firearm, a conviction for simply having marijuana in a motor vehicle will bar you from possessing any of the aforementioned weapons for at least three years. After that 3 year period, you may be eligible have your firearm’s privileges reinstated. However, you better not have been convicted of any other violation of a drug crime within that 3 year period or your firearm’s privileges will not be reinstated.

It is important when you are charged with a crime in Minnesota that you get advice from an experienced attorney. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better your chances that all of your options can be explored. At Bradshaw & Bryant, we have been helping people with all levels of charges from DUI and drug charges to physical assaults and homicides. We have put the time in to court to make a difference for you.