Category Archives: Plain view, feel, smell

D.Md.: Def voluntarily entered passcode into phone where there was a SW for his face and fingerprint to open it

Police had a search warrant for defendant’s cell phone and face and fingerprint to open it. He remained silent. They got past the first step and the phone asked for the passcode. He entered the first four digits without prompting … Continue reading

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E.D.Cal.: Smell of MJ still PC in a California National Park even though not under state law

The smell of marijuana from a car is no longer probable cause under California law, but it is still in a national park. United States v. Tolmosoff, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83134 (E.D. Cal. May 7, 2024). Defendant wasn’t seized … Continue reading

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Cal.1st: Minor in possession of MJ is PC for search of car

Lawful possession of marijuana in a car is not probable cause for a search. A minor in possession is unlawful, so it is. In re Randy C., 2024 Cal. App. LEXIS 292 (1st Dist. May 3, 2024). There was a … Continue reading

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CA9: Apparent drugs found in TSA screening were reasonably seized

The contents of defendant’s suitcase alerted TSA screeners that something was awry. When his suitcase was opened, there were two vacuum sealed bags inside that were obviously drugs – “a layperson would readily ascertain that the packages in Green’s suitcase … Continue reading

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CA4: Court instructing that the legality of searches were questions for the court wasn’t error

Defense counsel asked a question about something being in plain view which led to discussion of whether those words were an effort to challenge the search before the jury. The court instructed the jury that the legality of searches was … Continue reading

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NC: Lack of findings for denial of motion to suppress precludes review; remanded

After a suppression hearing, the trial court orally denied the motion to suppress after hearing conflicting evidence. The state was to prepare findings and didn’t. After defendant was convicted on that evidence, there was nothing for the appeal. Remanded for … Continue reading

Posted in Inevitable discovery, Plain view, feel, smell, Suppression hearings | Comments Off on NC: Lack of findings for denial of motion to suppress precludes review; remanded

S.D.Fla.: Emergency motion to quash SW denied; def can still file a motion to suppress

The target of a search filed an emergency motion to quash a search warrant for DNA to compare it to a firearm but without a showing there was DNA on the gun. The motion is denied, but the target can … Continue reading

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GA: SW for marijuana supported plain view seizure of firearms, ammunition, and body armor

Police had a search warrant for marijuana. “[E]ven if the seizure of the firearms, ammunition, and body armor is not within the scope of the warrant, we agree with the State that law enforcement was authorized to seize these items … Continue reading

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GA: SW for blood draw specifically didn’t mention testing

Where the search warrant for defendant’s blood only permitted drawing the blood and not testing it, testing it required another warrant. State v. De La Paz, 2024 Ga. App. LEXIS 98 (Mar. 8, 2024). Defendant’s conviction was based in part … Continue reading

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AK: Police aerial flyover with telephoto lens of rural property violates state right of privacy

Under the Alaska Constitution, an aerial flyover with a telephoto lens of rural property in a “sparsely populated area” in the woods north of Fairbanks produced evidence of a grow operation. In a long (and sensitive opinion), the Alaska Supreme … Continue reading

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OH5: Officer’s writing wrong statute number on ticket was a reasonable mistake of law

Defendant’s stop for a loud muffler was reasonable. His claim that it wasn’t loud on the bodycam is rejected. Another alleged offense cited the wrong statute. That’s a reasonable mistake of law. State v. Braucher, 2024-Ohio-811, 2024 Ohio App. LEXIS … Continue reading

Posted in Emergency / exigency, Plain view, feel, smell, Probable cause, Reasonableness | Comments Off on OH5: Officer’s writing wrong statute number on ticket was a reasonable mistake of law

MO: Detox civil detention justified inventory search of the person

Detox civil detention justified inventory search of the person the same as jailing an alleged offender. State v. Williams, 2024 Mo. App. LEXIS 131 (Mar. 5, 2024). Some of the information in the affidavit didn’t provide a time frame, but … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: Cell phone that govt can’t open not in its possession for discovery purposes

Defendant’s cell phone is in the possession of the government but it can’t search it because they don’t have the pass code. Defendant’s request for discovery of the phone under Rule 16 is denied because the contents of the phone … Continue reading

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GA: Officer didn’t have to distinguish between smell of MJ, hemp, and CBD to have PC to search car

Under existing precedent, the smell of suspected marijuana couldn’t be distinguished between hemp and CBD, and that was still probable cause for search of the car. Coverstone v. State, 2024 Ga. App. LEXIS 90 (Mar. 4, 2024). “First, Officer Murphy … Continue reading

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CA5: Burden on def to show smell of MJ in car was from lawful use

If one is claiming that prior use of marijuana in the car is lawful, thus defeating probable cause, the burden is on him or her. United States v. Goldsmith, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 4405 (5th Cir. Feb. 26, 2024).* [Except … Continue reading

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E.D.Ky.: Motion for new trial here not ground for illegal search claim

This motion for new trial is not for defendant’s claim that officers hacked his computer to illegally search it. It’s not newly discovered. Moreover, there were questions of the FBI computer analyst about whether the computer had been hacked. United … Continue reading

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OH1: Trial court erred in not suppressing when officer couldn’t remember the basis of stop

Defendant satisfied his burden of pleading by stating the stop was without justification. At the hearing on the motion to suppress this OVI case, the officer couldn’t remember why defendant was stopped. The trial court erred in not suppressing. State … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: Neither PC nor RS required to look into a stopped vehicle’s windows

Neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion required to look into a stopped vehicle’s windows. United States v. Walker, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22075 (D. Minn. Feb. 8, 2024). Defendant’s social media account with pictures of him holding guns and recorded … Continue reading

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S.D.Ill.: Odor of marijuana coming from a car is PC in this federal circuit even if it’s maybe not in state court anymore because of recreational use

The odor of marijuana coming from a car is probable cause in this circuit even if it’s maybe not be in state court anymore. United States v. Toney, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20838 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2024). Qualified immunity … Continue reading

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W.D.Ark.: Manhandling a diabetic who passed out while driving gets no QI; law well established

Plaintiff, a diabetic, had a car wreck while in a low blood sugar episode. From the court’s opinion, it’s clear the officers had no idea what they were doing when they handcuffed and Tased her for no apparent reason, then … Continue reading

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