Q: Do I need a lawyer if I was caught after smoking marijuana and the marijuana that was subsequently found clearly wasn’t mine? Due to a faulty latch on our front door, a cop gained entrance to the office I work at where my coworker and I had just smoked marijuana. We were cooperative, which the cop appreciated, and, when he went through our stuff, he found a relatively small amount of marijuana in my co-workers bag. Weighs less than 30 grams. My coworker admitted it was his. He decided not to do anything that night but asked us to come talk to him at the police station next week. Can I get in trouble for being high and being with someone in possession of marijuana? Do I need a lawyer? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Being around marijuana in and of itself is not a crime. Possession of marijuana is a crime. If your friend admitted to possession, you really should not be charged with anything. I think it would be a stretch, but the cop may charge you with some sort of conspiracy to possess or conspiracy to commit a prohibited act. I doubt it, but it is possible. He probably wants you guys to work with him and lead him to the seller in exchange for the charges being withdrawn. If you go and talk to him, you may say something that hurts you, even though there is practically no real case against you. I would nonetheless hire a lawyer who can speak on your behalf. In addition, if your friend gets charged, he should have a lawyer look closely at the probable cause to search here.