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Getting busted with pot may not seem like a huge deal, but it comes with more consequences than people realize. If the police arrest you for even a tiny amount of weed, then it can potentially ruin your entire life, depending on where you live. Not only can a pot charge hinder your chances of landing a job, but it can also put you behind bars. However, there’s a difference between getting caught with weed and getting arrested. Just because a cop stops you for pot, doesn’t mean you have to help them convict you of a crime. If you’re ever in the situation, here are four things to say to cops to help save your butt from a possession charge.

1. “Are you detaining me or am I free to go?”

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The first thing you should ask when an officer stops you is if you’re being detained. That way, you will know whether or not you are being put under arrest.

If the officer says that you’re not being detained, then you are free to go immediately. However, if they arrest you, then just know that the cops cannot ask you any questions without reading you your rights. When an officer fails to read you your rights, then your lawyer can use it against them in court.

2. “I do not consent to any searches”

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It is imperative never to give the police permission to search you, your car, or your home. It is your right to refuse a search, and it’s stated in the Fourth Amendment.

Legally, a cop cannot search you without a warrant. And even if they have a warrant, which you can ask to see, an officer can only search within certain limits. But with your permission, they are free to search anywhere they please.

3. “I wish to remain silent”

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Some people think that sweet talking an officer will help cover their tail. But in reality, talking too much can do more harm than good. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

As declared by the Supreme Court, you have the right to stay silent. However, you must let the officer know that you are using this right by saying “I want to remain silent.” The police are still allowed to harass you and question you, but you do not have to answer. And if you do, then you have to say it all over again if you wish to go back to being quiet.

4. “I want a lawyer”

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From the moment you tell an officer that you want a lawyer, they cannot speak to you anymore until your lawyer is present. If they continue to talk to you and you feel pressured to answer, your lawyer can have it thrown out in court, even if you fail to say “I wish to remain silent.”

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