Marijuana and Drivers Licenses - Suspensions may be on the rise

A defendant's drivers license, motor vehicle registration and ability to register a motor vehicle MUST be ordered suspended by the law in Indiana if the Defendant is convicted of Possession of Marijuana, and the Court determines that "a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the offense." This law applies other drug charges, see Indiana Code 35-48-4-15(a). The Indiana Supreme Court in Adams v. State, 960 N.E.2d 973 (Ind. 2012) recently held that this law not only applies to the driver of the vehicle, but also to a passenger, although the facts may be specific to the Adams case.

In Adams, the Defendant was the front seat passenger in a vehicle. He possessed a jar of marijuna. The jar was found on the floorboard in front of him. The Court determined that the State needed to prove that a "defendant made more than an incidental use of a motor vehicle in committing the offense." However teh Court also noted that the situation in Adams was different than a passenger that possessed a bag of marijuana in his or her pocket "without making any direct use of the vehicle."

If you have questions about Drug Possession or Drug Dealing cases, Driver's License Suspensions or other criminal law matters, please contact me, Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer, at (260) 833-7249.