The police stop you for an alleged driving infraction – speeding, failure to stay in lane, tinted windows – and while talking with you the officer smells the odor of marijuana. The officer asks you to step out of the car, searches the car and finds drugs. You contact a criminal defense attorney to defend you and explore the possibility of a motion to suppress the search. If you are the driver of a personal vehicle or the owner, you have what is known as an expectation of privacy and “standing” to suppress the search. However, if you are a passenger of the vehicle, or the driver of a rental car that was rented by a friend or family member and you are not listed on the rental agreement, you may lack standing to challenge the search of the vehicle.
When someone is facing criminal charges they usually worry about the effects on family, reputation and their freedom. And while one’s freedom is of primary importance, there are also serious collateral consequences from a guilty plea or conviction. The loss of voting rights, inability to own firearms, loss or suspension of professional licenses and freedom of movement are some of the long-lasting effects of a criminal record.