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Since a search of the automobile is allowed by law, when entering the USA, an attorney would probably not be able to challenge the legal validity of the search, as would be done with a typical drug case. Of course, your attorney will interview you thoroughly in order to determine if all procedures were followed properly, but the chances of a successful motion to suppress are less likely in a border search than in most other automobile searches.
Therefore, the more probable way that you would have to deal with this case is not through pre-trial motions (as is typical of drug cases), but to instead focus on a trial.
In order to convict you, the prosecution has the burden of proof, and in a criminal case in the USA, that burden is beyond a reasonable doubt. Each element of the offense must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. While the statute
defining the crime of possession of a controlled substance (possession of cannabis / marijuana) does not require that the possession be "knowing," the Washington courts have interpreted the law to require that not only must the prosecution prove that you possessed the marijuana, but that you did so knowingly
. It is not a strict liability offense, and in order to commit the offense you must have knowledge that you are doing so.
Therefore, based upon the information you have shared here, it is likely that your attorney will focus on the knowing possession of marijuana, and attack from that standpoint. The prosecution can prove that you possessed the marijuana. Your attorney will try to attack this from the standpoint that it was not a "knowing" possession. In other words, you did not know that you possessed the marijuana.
While that may seem intuitive to you, not all crimes in the USA must be committed knowingly. There are strict liability offenses which may be committed unknowingly.
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Gloria M Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely informational and educational.
This public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights. You should consult with an attorney in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.