Mar 7

Smell of Pot and Probable Cause for Search

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In State v. Samuell the Appellate Division ruled that the strong smell of marijuana and anonymous reports of shots fired and unlawful firearms was not sufficient circumstanes for a police officer to jump a fence and make an arrest without first obtaining a warrant. Jumping over the fence and on to private property violated the Defendant’s right against unreasonable search and seizure. The police officers did not have probable cause in this case, only a reasonable and articulable suspicion. Any search lacking probable cause or a warrant requires that a police officer be in a place he is legally entitled to be to observe the crime being committed. At the smell of pot, jumping over a fence and onto private propery goes too far with only a reasonable and articulable suspicion.

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