Category Archives: Plain view, feel, smell

PA: With MMJ, smell of MJ alone isn’t PC for search of a car; more required

Because of medical marijuana being law in Pennsylvania, the smell of marijuana in a car alone is no longer enough for probable cause. More is required. Commonwealth v. Grooms, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 79 (Feb. 24, 2021):

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GA: Contraband in plain view on def’s property didn’t justify warrantless entry to seize it

Officers’ entry onto abandoned property next door to defendant’s place to get a better view of his place was reasonable. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy there or in the view from there. However, they saw contraband in plain … Continue reading

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TX14: No REP in a driveway def pulled into apparently hoping to ditch following police

Defendant’s red Ford Expedition was seen leaving an armed robbery, and the police were looking for it, finding it driving on the street. They followed, and it pulled into a driveway. Defendant shows no reasonable expectation of privacy in the … Continue reading

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PA: Because of MMJ, smell of marijuana alone not RS or PC without more

The trial court’s order finding probable cause to search a car just based on the smell of marijuana alone from the passenger compartment is contrary to two state decisions involving medical marijuana and is reversed. Commonwealth v. Shaw, 2021 Pa. … Continue reading

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GA: CSLI lawfully obtained in 2013 was subject to GFE

The acquisition of defendant’s CSLI in 2013 followed law at the time and was reasonable, and the good faith exception applied. Carpenter came four years after the trial. Lofton v. State, 2021 Ga. LEXIS 28 (Feb. 15, 2021). The officers … Continue reading

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AL: A visitor to premises targeted by a SW who is more than a “transient visitor” is subject to search

Defendant was a visitor at a house that was searched under a warrant for drugs. Her purse was searched, too. “Because Powers was more than a ‘transient visitor’ at Moyers’s house and had a known relationship to the premises, and … Continue reading

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N.D.Cal.: Smell of MJ in a car in California isn’t PC

“[T]he mere presence of marijuana or the commission of a marijuana-related vehicle infraction in a state where adults may legally possess and transport it does not give officers probable cause to suspect that a vehicle contains contraband.” United States v. … Continue reading

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MD: 911 call led to plain view

911 was called by defendant’s mother about his possible cardiac arrest. When the officer arrived, defendant was alert and fine, and his drugs were in plain view. Their seizure was valid. Glanden v. State, 2021 Md. App. LEXIS 80 (Feb. … Continue reading

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N.D.W.Va.: No REP in readily visible interior of car

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in the interior of a car visible through the window. United States v. Swartz, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 248194 (N.D. W.Va. Dec. 11, 2020),* adopted, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10918 (N.D. W.Va. Jan. … Continue reading

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D.Mass.: Calling def’s cell phone from a seized cell phone’s recent call log wasn’t a search

Dialing defendant’s cell phone from the call log of a seized cell phone was not a search. If defendant wanted his number to remain private, he should block the number or turn off the phone. United States v. Katana, 2021 … Continue reading

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CA5: Burglary call led to plain view of drugs in car, then a search

Police responded to a potential burglary call and encountered a vehicle. In plain view the officers could see what was likely methamphetamine. That led to a search that found explosive devices. The plain view was reasonable. United States v. Miller, … Continue reading

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IN: Odor of MJ alone may not be enough for PC without showing training

On the facts of this case, the mere odor of marijuana wasn’t enough to show probable cause. The officers never explained why they believed that or what their training was. Bunnell v. State, 2020 Ind. App. LEXIS 538 (Dec. 18, … Continue reading

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IN: Admin. inspector’s entry onto yard for housing code violation didn’t violate 4A

A city inspector followed state statute and entered upon a homeowner’s property after he saw a deck and above ground pool being built in violation of the local housing code. The entry was reasonable and did not require a administrative … Continue reading

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E.D.Va.: Attorney memorandum could be seized in plain view during search; 5A privilege was waived

In a criminal copyright infringement case, a search warrant issued, and the police seized an attorney memorandum in plain view. The court finds the attorney-client privilege was waived by prior disclosure to others. United States v. Dallmann, 2020 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading

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M.D.Pa.: Traffic stop may be highly technical, but it still has a factual and legal basis

“Although many reasonable people may agree that the stop at issue here was a highly technical, ‘ticky-tacky’ sort of traffic stop, there is no doubt that Florida law requires a driver to stop at a clearly marked stop line before … Continue reading

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IN: Hard ball in pocket during frisk was immediately apparent it was drugs

A casino enforcement agent told defendant he had to be patted down before their sitting in an interview room. A round ball was felt in defendant’s pocket, and it was immediately apparent to the officer from training and experience that … Continue reading

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