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January 2017 Archives

Right to Carry = Right to Frisk

W.Virginia's "right to carry" subjects citizens behaving lawfully while armed to being frisked by a police officer - so says the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The fact that a person is lawfully entitled to carry a firearm does not eliminate the risk to a police officer who confronts such a situation.  Review the entire opinion here -   http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Published/144902A.P.pdf

Odor of Marihuana is Still Probable Cause to Search Vehicle

Despite the decriminalization of marihuana, it is still "contraband" and the odor of marihuana provides probable cause for a police officer to search a vehicle so holds the Maryland Court of Appeals in Robinson v. State (http://www.mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2017/37a16.pdf).   The Court rejected the argument that the mere smell of marihuana does not provide probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed (i.e. that more than 10 grams of marihuana is being possessed).   Probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains either "contraband" or evidence of crime is a proper and lawful basis upon which to justify a vehicle search under the Carroll doctrine (Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925)).

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