Did the police justify their search of your vehicle by claiming they detected the odor of marijuana? If they did and there was in fact no marijuana smoked or recently in your car, your lawyer may be able to question their credibility based on a New York judge’s recent comments reported in The New York Times.
As in Florida, courts in New York have long held an officer may effect a warrantless search of a car and its occupants if they smell marijuana coming from the vehicle. But in late July of this year, a judge in the Bronx said officers base vehicle searches on the smell of marijuana too often to be believed. And, the judge has urged her fellow jurists across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about smelling marijuana as an excuse to search a vehicle.
“The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop,” Judge April Newbauer wrote in a decision in a case involving a gun the police discovered in car they had searched after claiming to have smelled marijuana. She added, “So ubiquitous has police testimony about odors from cars become that it should be subject to a heightened level of scrutiny if it is to supply the grounds for a search.” Continue reading