illegal search of vehicle? advice?

Discussion in 'Real Life Stories' started by MNs Finest, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. today i was driving to mcdonalds when i got pulled over. i hadnt smoked at all today so i wasnt high or anything. i was really tired cuz i worked all day and had to take a final for a summer class.. anyway he says i look glass eyed and red eyes. then he asks if i have anything illegal in the car. i say no he says he wants to search my car and i politely refuse. he has another officer pull up and and has me step out and stand by the other officer. he then goes on to have the dog search my car. while this is happening i talk to the other officer and the other officer tells me that the officer searching the car said that he had probable cause because he smelled weed. now i know this is bullshit because i dont have weed in my car, dont smoke weed in my car, and havent had weed in my car at all for a while.

    he eventually comes up with a one hitter that i had in my backpack but found no weed. i end up getting a paraphanalia ticket . so shouls i just pay it and be done or should i go to court because i dont think he had any right to search the car. he couldnt have smelled weed cuz there wasnt any. i dont know how i looked high because i hadnt smoke in over 24 hours.. what should i do?
  2. #2 Doc-J, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
    If the dog hit on your car, he had probable cause to go into the vehicle and search. Now, I do question whether he had probable cause to call in the dog, but thats a different story. Dogs will hit on paraphernalia, Ive had it happen. You would have had more to fight with if they hadn't found a pipe in your car. I doubt you will win the argument that you didn't smell like weed in court when they found your pipe. It's your word against his, and you gave him evidence to back his side up.
  3. pipe never been used? If yes, you might have a time getting out of it. Dog smelled the pipe and the residue inside of it.

    Principally, I would be tempted to fight it (not the para charge, per se), but the whole "smelled weed" excuse to get in your business. To be honest, probably wouldn't win., but at least I'D make them work for their money.

    Good luck to you.
  4. What Fencewalker said.

    Even if the pipe was used, with a good lawyer he can get that shit dropped. What the cop did was iffy, it was in the grey area. It'll be up to him trying to prove he had probable cause, while your lawyer argues why he didnt have probable cause.

    Most likely you'd win. Out of principle I might fight it. But is spending a couple hundred bucks or more worth it to get out of a paraphenalia charge? It depends on your state laws, but sometimes tickets like that go on your record, sometimes not.
  5. EHHH


    That evidence has been illegally acquired. You refused a search of your vehicle. The fact that he had you EXIT the vehicle means he forced a search of it. If the dog was searching before you refused and had indicated a hit then you would be fucked.

    But since you REFUSED A SEARCH and the officer ILLEGALLY DETAINED your person you can fight it in court. I would personally as long as you read up on law a bit and site a case where an illegal search was conducted and the defendant won by having the evidence dismissed. As long as you do some auxiliary research you can get the charge dropped as the evidence was acquired through an illegal search.

    One fun little trick is to wait untill the last minute to request a court date. Then right before the court date request a rescheduling. 50-50 shot the cop won't show for the first one and a much better chance he won't show up for the second date. In which case you can have it dismissed on the grounds of no prosecution. If the cop does show up make sure you have well prepared notes and questions for the officer.
  6. EHHHH


    You do realize that American laws and court systems are different than Canada right?

    lets start for the simple fact that here in america we dont request court dates, they are assigned to us. If you have a lawyer, you can kinda wiggle on the dates, get extensions etc. But with out a lawyer, and just as a norm, our court systems assign your court dates.
  7. IMO your only way to fight this will be to demonstrate to the court that there is no possible way for the officer to smell weed when the only item in the car was the one hitter.

    Otherwise they are just going to believe him that he smelled weed, which would have made the search completely legal.
  8. This reminds me, when you are instructed to exit your vehicle, secure the vehicle by rolling up the windows. This makes it more difficult for the dogs to smell something inside the vehicle. Also, if you're gonna try to fight this, you need to get an attorney and get a copy of any video tape of the dog searching to see if the dog alerts on tape. It is my personal belief the cops, once they call for the dog, will search the vehicle whether the dog alerts or not because who is there to say otherwise? We are at the mercy of a corrupt and corpulent police state.

  9. You can still move for an extension on a court date. I may have explained it incorrectly because I was incredibly stoned when I wrote that.

    @ OP:

    You need to decide if you want to deal with this or not. Will having a paraphernalia charge on your record effect your future? If you do not want that then I recommend you lawyer up and fight this. Write down EVERYTHING you can remember about the incident and provide it to an attorney. If he thinks you can win the case then go for it. It sounds kinda odd that a K9 unit was sent in so quickly. The officer may have smelled marijuana in your car but that could have been a bluff.

    If the paraphernalia was clean when he found it which it wouldn't have been because the dog indicated a hit on it then he can argue he smelled that. If he sites that your red glassy eyes was the reason he searched your vehicle (which is sounds like the two officers are giving different stories) then you can probably win this. If officer 1 wrote down your general appearance for a reason to search and officer 2 says it was because of Marijuana odor in the vehicle you may be able to catch them in a lie.
  10. you should fight this if you have the time and depending on the fine I am going through a similar case right now on a larger scale and their is a new law in mass at least that declares odor of marijuana not being a probable cause to search a vehicle which would mean your evidence would get depressed and the charges would drop due to illegal search of your vehicle
  11. Fight it.

    Fight everything that is bullshit, or wrong -- even if you might not win.
    It's about standing up for what is right.

    You could argue that there was nothing in sight from outside the vehicle, considering your pipe was INSIDE the backpack IN the vehicle that you had politely refused any search of.

    Then if the officer in question says, "I smelled weed, which is probable cause--"

    Human beings senses are nothing compared to that of a dog, a K-9 in this case.
    Residual traces of any smoked herb in a pipe, which is concealed in a backpack, inside a locked vehicle that was off limits to any search can not be picked up by ANY human's senses... the call for a sniff test by a called in K-9 is voided because the officer had no probable cause, by sight AND sense. Throw this shit out court!

    As you walk by the officer, mouth "FUCK YOU"
  12. I bet even if you fought it they wouldn't care, the officer could say he smelt weed, the dog hinted on the car as far as we know, search turned up paraphernalia. There was no illegal search. Think before you roll around with things that can't be easily disposed of next time.
  13. He said it was a one hitter in his back pack. He obviously wasn't "rolling around" with it.

    A human smelling weed from outside a vehicle from inside a back pack (especially if it was a bit of res) is hilarious.

    Looking like your stoned doesn't constitute legal grounds for a search. If he refused a search and the officer searched his vehicle anyways the evidence is void. Denying a search =/= admission of guilt.

    Now their are rules that can be bent to make sure that evidence is upheld in court. For example. If OP was driving around and got pulled over for whatever crime and his car was going to be towed, the officer could search or "Catalog" the contents of the vehicle prior to impounding it. This makes any paraphernalia discovered valid evidence.

    But if the officer has no legal grounds to search your vehicle then the evidence is not admissible in court. OP get a criminal defense lawyer if you want this off your record. He should be able to easily win this case for you (the cops might not even show up for court).
  14. thanks for the advice guys.. idk like the ticket isnt that much money i just think its bullshit on principle

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