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San Francisco DUI Lawyer - Search & Seizure

Posted on in DUI

San Francisco, Sonoma, Marin, Napa DUI Attorney - Search & Seizure
U.S. v. Hickman (2012)
U.S. District Court (Idaho) – Docket 4:11-CR-00223-BLW
2012 WL 1883479

After making an enforcement stop for tinted windows, the officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that Defendant was not under the influence and told him he was free to go. However, before the defendant had time to leave the officer began interrogating him about whether he had drugs or cash in his car based on a faint odor of marijuana he claimed to have smelled on his driver’s license. The questioning involved suggestions that a narc dog could be summoned and ultimately two more deputies arrived on scene. The officer claimed that consent to search was ultimately given, whereupon an illegal shotgun was discovered in the vehicle.

Held : Although a strong odor of marijuana emanating from a vehicle may be grounds for a warrantless search, a faint odor on a license is not. Cf. United States v. Guzman-Padilla (9 th Cir. 2009) 573 F.3d 865, 886 n. 5. Moreover, consent to search is invalid where it is obtained during the course of an illegally prolonged detention. See Florida v. Royer (1983) 460 U.S. 500 (an investigative detention must “last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop").

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