A lawyer for a man arrested in Southwest Miami-Dade County has filed a motion to challenge the validity of a search and seizure. The public defender argued in his court filing that the increasing legality of marijuana products in the state eliminated its scent as a reason to suspect criminality.
The defendant faces charges for possession of marijuana and intent to sell or deliver as well as cocaine possession. Police claim to have found both substances in the man's vehicle after initiating a search because they smelled marijuana. His lawyer hopes to eliminate the evidence from the case on the grounds that the search violated the man's Constitutional protection from unlawful searches.
The state currently accepts some forms of cannabis for medicinal use, but the man did not possess a card as a medical marijuana patient. In other states, courts have upheld the legality of police searching people's possessions when they smell marijuana even if the substance is legal. The outcome of this case awaits a judge's decision at a hearing.
Although some states increasingly view the possession of marijuana as normal, the criminal justice system continues to prosecute people. Someone arrested on drug charges might want support from a lawyer. With legal representation, a person could obtain clear information about rights, charges and potential penalties. A lawyer may help a person evaluate defense strategies and make the decision between standing trial or seeking a plea deal. In either situation, a lawyer might strive to suppress questionable evidence and undermine the ability of a prosecutor to prove guilt or pursue a harsh sentence.Source: News 965, "MIAMI MAN CHALLENGES COPS ON SEARCHING CAR AFTER SMELLING WEED", Gene Wexier, Feb. 25, 2019