My question involves criminal law for the state of: Minnesota
A friend and I were pulled over for speeding. I was in the passenger seat and my friend was driving. When the officer approached he did the standard spiel about license and registration and insurance...yada yada... when he came back from running our licenses he informed us that he smelled what he believed to be marijuana in the car. Another officer arrived on scene and we were asked to step out of the vehicle. They immediately began a search of the vehicle without permission ( I assume smell alone is PC in minnesota) The officers questioned us about the smell, I was asked if I thought the officer was smelling MJ to which i responded that i could not possibly know what the other officer was smelling. There was MJ (less than 1.5 grams) in the vehicle that was not mine and was not in my personal possession. It was stuffed between the center cup holders and the passenger seat. It was found within a few moments along with a pipe. after I was frisked for weapons and drugs I was asked to sit in the back of one of the police cars (the driver was not asked to do so) and was told that if I had anything to say about the MJ to tell them. I told them nothing because I had nothing to add. Canine unit shows up, no more drugs or paraphernalia are found. After the walk around I was informed that the ticket for possession and pipe were going to be issued to me. The reasoning given to me when the officer handed me the ticket was that a key ring (which he TOLD me was mine, rather than asking) was found on top of the illegal items. Sure enough, they were my keys. The ring on the keychain grabbed the seatbelt buckle and spread the ring off of my key carabiner which I always keep on my left side belt loop. This it seems was their only justification for pinning it on me rather than the vehicle owner. I have not seen the police report (nor do i know how to get a copy) so I am not sure what they wrote as their reason for giving me the ticket rather than the owner of the vehicle, the drugs, and the pipe. This is the first drug offense for me, however I am also on probation (until expungement) from a prior incident that disallowed same or similar offenses (such as disorderly conduct or assault) but did not have anything relating to drugs.
I would really like to take this to court because I personally don't feel justice has been properly served. Just because some drugs and a pipe happened to be near me they are mine? Is this even worth fighting or should i just enter a guilty plea and pay the fines and do the classes?