I was parke din a parking lot listening to music with a friend when a cop came up and said he smelled weed and made us get out of the car. I didn’t tell him he could search the car but he did anyway and found a joint that we were smoking earlier. I think this was totally wrong. My record is good. I really don’t need this.
There is a line of court cases that hold the police “community care-taking function” is sufficient to stop and make a reasonable inquiry. The standard Terry “reasonable suspicion” [Terry v.Ohio] test is not required. This is fact-specific, of course, but sitting in an open parking lot is obviously not a private or a protected area and the police can walk or drive through without any legal requirement. If the police drive or walk through and the odor of marijuana is determined (even if the officer was mistaken), the permits a more detailed inquiry. It has been held in more than 25 Alabama appellate court decisions that the odor of marijuana is legal sufficient to establish probable cause.
depending on your record and the circumstances, you may be accepted into a pretrial diversion program to get the charge dismissed. I would have to know more to say for certain, however. I do criminal defense and I also practice in that area. let me know if youd like to speak further about your case. –barbi agricola
Try calling Blane Dolbare. Blane’s number is: 251-847-6320.
STATE: Alabama COUNTY: Dallas
One of the classic reasons an officer uses to search a vehicle is that he smelled marijuana or saw it in plain view. Smelling marijuana is subjective, but it is enough cause to search a vehicle. There may be some suppression issues with why he stopped you or detained you more than the customary time for a regular traffic stop. Also there seems to be a constructive possession issue if the marijuana was not found directly on your person. Like my colleagues have stated, if you have previously been convicted of a marijuana offense this charge will automatically be a felony, however within the last year a POM 1st charge has become a Class D felony and involves less sever penalties than it did 5 years ago.
Brandon J. Wooten, Esq
That is an area where I practice. The smell of marijuana is probable cause, so no consent his needed.
This is a misdemeanor if no prior marijuana conviction. However, it is a felony if Defendant has EVER had conviction.
The punishment is loss of driver’s license for 6 months, and drug and alcohol classes.
He needs a lawyer, but D is not facing jail time, and D will receive suspended sentence with probation.
Daniel H. Boman
If the cop smelled marijuana he would like have probable cause to search your vehicle. Alabama has the most strict marijuana laws in the country, a second offense of possession of marijuana will result in a felony. Due to the fact that you were not on the public roadways, there could be a possible issue as to why law enforcement approached to begin with. If there was not a valid reason, the evidence against you could possibly be suppressed and the case dismissed. I recommend contacting an experienced defense attorney.