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Officers need more than a whiff of marijuana to arrest car occupants
by escaping slave
on 7/17/2008 @ 5:30pm
|The state Supreme Court ruled today that officers cannot arrest every occupant of a car if the officer smells drugs in the vehicle.
It was a unanimous, landmark decision on a Skagit County case.
We hold that the smell of marijuana in the general area where an individual is located is insufficient, without more, to support probable cause for arrest. Where no other evidence exists linking the passenger to any criminal activity, an arrest of the passenger on the suspicion of possession of illegal substances, and any subsequent searches, is invalid and an unconstitutional invasion of that individual's right to privacy. We reverse the superior court and reinstate the district court's order of suppression.
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any. Enjoy!