My question involves criminal law for the state of: Michigan
I was pulled over in Northern Michigan earlier this week by a State Trooper. My friend was driving my dad's car to pick me up from the Detroit airport. I just flew in from California, where I hold residency. I come back and forth to Michigan to visit family here in the summer.
The officer smelled marijuana and asked my friend if he could search the car. My friend said that it wasn't his car so he couldn't give him the ok, apparently the officer thought that was good enough. He pulled us all out and went thru the whole car. HE put me in handcuffs and locked me in his car. He went thru EVERYTHING in the car. He found a small amount of marijuana, less than a quarter ounce. He went thru the whole car and thru all of my luggage. He also found 1 and 1/2 pills of Ecstacy, and less than 1/8 of an ounce of Mushrooms.
The officer said he would let me go without arresting me if I would accept responsibility for the possesion. I told him they were from CA, and they were mine for personal use in the past. They had all been given to me as gifts (which was true) and I had forgotten about the pills and mushrooms. They were stashed away in seperate bags in my luggage, and they were a few months old. They were mine and I didn't want my friends in trouble. I explained to the officer that I never gave him permission to search the car or my possesions. He didn't seem to care.
I was written a ticket for personal possesion of all of the above. He charged me with a misdemeanor for the marijuana, and a felony for the SMALL amounts of XTC and Mushrooms. I am completely shocked he charged me with a FELONY for these. Since I was respectful and took responsibility he told me I could go with a ticket, and would have a court date in two weeks.
I HAVE NO PRIORS. I don't even have any traffic violations. I was polite and respectful the whole time.
I am wondering what I should do. I don't have alot of money to afford a lawyer right now. Should I get a loan, would it save me more in the long run? Was it ok for the officer to search the car or my possesions without asking me first? If I don't get a lawyer, what will happen when I go to my court date? Could I be arrested then? I am totally baffled by this and would really appreciate any help! Does it matter that I am a California resident. Will the judge let me leave to go back, or am I going to be stuck in MI with a suspended license and probation requirements at best? What are some best and worst situations, or any advice as to my options. Thank you in advance, all advice or opinions are welcomed!
ALSO, I plan on going to AA meetings in advance, and getting a slip signed to show this to the judge, to let him know I am serious about this, and don't want to use drugs anymore. Is this a good idea?