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Cannabis And The Law: How To Get Yourself Arrested Part I


Being arrested even in Boulder is not solely a matter of bad luck, in spite of the comment on bad luck in Reservoir Dogs.  True in Boulder and anywhere else in the United States. Although good luck can prevent being arrested or even busted it is unreliable. Starting this blog at the end, how to minimize the chances of being arrested, I offer this.

Common Reasons for Arrests

  1. Violent Crimes: Including assault, domestic violence, homicide, and robbery. These are serious offenses that almost always result in arrest upon sufficient evidence of involvement.
  2. Property Crimes: Such as burglary, theft, larceny, auto theft, and arson. These crimes involve taking or damaging someone else’s property without permission.
  3. Drug-Related Offenses: Including possession, distribution, or manufacturing of illegal drugs. Drug offenses can vary in severity depending on the amount and type of drug.
  4. Driving Offenses: Including driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license. Traffic violations can escalate to arrestable offenses under certain conditions.
  5. Public Disorder Crimes: Such as disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and disturbing the peace. These are actions that disrupt public order or decency.
  6. Financial Crimes: Including fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and identity theft. These can be complex and involve deceit or theft of financial resources.

Summary of Blog Series:

People can get arrested for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor infractions to serious criminal activities. Understanding the common reasons for arrests and behaviors that increase the likelihood of police involvement can help in making informed decisions to avoid legal troubles. Here’s an overview:

Behaviors Increasing the Chance of Police Involvement and Arrest

  1. Committing Multiple Offenses: Engaging in activities that break multiple laws at once (e.g., driving under the influence and speeding) significantly increases the risk of arrest.
  2. Repeat Offenses: Individuals with a history of criminal behavior or prior arrests are more likely to be on law enforcement’s radar, increasing the chance of arrest for any subsequent illegal activity.
  3. High-Risk Behaviors: Actions that pose a threat to public safety, such as brandishing a weapon or threatening others, can prompt immediate police response and potential arrest.
  4. Non-Cooperation with Law Enforcement: Failing to comply with lawful orders or resisting arrest can itself lead to arrest, even if the original reason for the police interaction was minor.

Strategies to Avoid Arrest Legally

  1. Obey the Law: The most straightforward way to avoid arrest is to adhere to local, state, and federal laws.
  2. Practice Safe and Responsible Behavior: Especially when it comes to drinking and driving, handling firearms, and managing disputes or conflicts.
  3. Stay Informed: Understanding the laws of your area, including traffic rules, substance regulations, and public conduct expectations, can help avoid unintentional infractions.
  4. Seek Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about the legality of an action or find yourself in a potentially compromising situation, consulting with a legal professional can provide clarity and preventive guidance.

It’s important to remember that while avoiding illegal activities is a surefire way to stay clear of arrests, understanding your rights and responsibilities under the law also plays a crucial role in navigating interactions with law enforcement.

I’m putting this on Leaf Of The Week because tragically some of our readers may have to deal with LEOs Law Enforcement Officers. While my style is a tad sarcastic, tongue in cheek, and certainly rarely serious, there is “real meat” behind my light attitude. This blog is a perfect example of trying to make very serious things into enjoyable reading without losing the “real” message of the post.

There are three categories which I use to explore this topic. First and perhaps most important is what people do that gets them arrested. I believe that the common element which separates the arrested from the free is how many crimes they commit at the same time. Most require some bad luck combined with the ill thought-out behavior.

My personal favorite and one understandable to civilians and responsible for the bulk of arrests is this. Do not break two laws at the same time.

  1.  Do not break two laws at the same time.

For example, if you are breaking the law by having pounds of pot in your trunk, the best way to avoid arrest is to go back in time and not have pounds of pot in your trunk to begin with. Assuming you’ve not skipped the crime entirely, how do you reduce your chances of being busted? Again, by not committing the #1 crime. The THEME of this blog is “the best way and the recommended way is to not break the law to begin with. That is the only legal advice in this blog. Don’t break the law to begin with.

Let’s get back to our drug mule. How often do we read that a speeding car was stopped, leading to the discovery of 20 pounds of pot, a firearm, and someone with an outstanding arrest warrant all in the car.  Our hero driver, after being stopped for speeding, tries to be cooperative so the LEOs will leave. In that spirit they give consent to search and make incriminating statement. Leave that to someone who has not read this blog. The example that we read of all the time is a person driving on a superhighway with the pot in the trunk, in great quantity. The driver and passengers  might be successful in not being stopped. Good luck trumps everything. But break two laws simultaneously?  This leads us to suggestion #1.

  1. Don’t commit a crime. Remember that nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. Every case is different, so a general discussion like this one may help you to better understand your lawyer, your situation and your case.  If you are in a real-life situation, SEE YOUR LAWYER sooner not later. The common belief is that if you don’t give consent to search, and don’t confess instead of remaining silent, that you help yourself. Nothing is further from the truth.
  2. If you speed and smuggle, you are begging to be stopped , searched and charged. Just speeding? Pay the fine. Just smuggling? Argue the legality of the stop and more. Smuggling with darkly tinted windows? Your at the mercy of a LEO who thinks they can tell that the tint is illegal, and again you are stopped.
  3. I can’t say it often enough. Don’t break the law, and if you do, do NOT break two laws at the same time. The kidnapper with the victim in the trunk is more likely to get caught, to the happy victim’s benefit, if they have a taillight out, or are breaking any other traffic law ranging from car lights to speeding.
  4. So do not break one law at a time, and whatever you do, do not break two law at the same time. I suspect that 50% of my defense cases involved breaking two laws simultaneously.
  5. Illustrious example: Young man with a prior drug conviction has, in his car, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine all in significant quantities. Our hero decides that this is a good time to shoplift. He parks in the shopping center parking lot, goes into a chain store, and steals a sweatshirt and some other small things. Store security follows him to his car. The pistol was in the glove box.  It only gets worse from there, resulting in an 8 year sentence. Although he may serve only 4 1/2 years of that actually in prison, it still sucks.

I repeat “do not break the law, and do NOT break two laws at the same time. The purpose of this blog is to help you comply with the law, and NOT to teach you how to break the law. Case excerpts are included for illustration purposes.

I’ll  discuss other ways to stay free of jail or prison or arrest in future blogs and for most of us, how to avoid being pulled over by the gendarmes.

Stay safe, stay legal, and stay legally buzzed when appropriate.  Although speeding with drugs on board is common, smoking in the smuggling car is amazingly not unusual. My clients always had good reasons for speeding with no turn signals, weaving in and out of traffic in their Lamborghini. So buy the Lambo, just don’t speed.

As an attorney I am not allowed to tell you how to break the law. I believe I can tell you how to avoid arrest regardless of what you are doing, legal or illegal. Remember that the “higher ups” in the drug trade are not the ones doing the driving. The driver is the cannon fodder.

Should your illegal or legal behavior result in a police contact, it is likely because you broke Rule #1. Follow the law whether or not you are breaking another law at the same time. And then skip the crime part entirely, getting back to one crime at a time.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared knowledge is power.

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