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Unlawful search and seizure for marijuana under scrutiny

When laws change, it can often have a ripple effect and potentially present a need to consider changes to other laws. This situation can prove especially true when changes regarding formerly illegal activity take place. Often, individuals wonder whether they have more options when it comes to defending against allegations. For instance, unlawful search and seizure is currently a focus in Florida because medical marijuana has become legal.

It was recently reported that one man is challenging an arrest and charges for marijuana possession after a police officer searched his vehicle due to noticing an odor of the substance. The man believes that the search of his vehicle was unlawful due to the legalization of marijuana for numerous people in the state. As a result, the odor of marijuana on its own may not be enough probable cause to conduct a search.

Of course, it is unclear how successful this man's claim will be. Other states with legal medical marijuana have ruled that the odor of the substance still presents enough probable cause for a lawful search, especially since the recreational use of the substance is still illegal. Even in states where recreational use is legal, search and seizure based on odor is still under consideration.

An unlawful search and seizure can undermine the prosecution's case against a person accused of a crime. As a result, it makes sense to include that argument in a person's criminal defense. Of course, the exact defense tactics that suit an individual's situation differ from case to case, and anyone charged with a crime in Florida will certainly want to explore options specific to his or her predicament.

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Thomas G. Fallis, P.A.
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