Drug Law

Hide the Weed: Supreme Court Debates No Warrant Searches

| by NORML
Don’t let this article get you shaking your head.  It all boils down to one thing, be smarter than the police.  Whether you’re in your car or in your house or walking down the street, if there is no reason for the police to take a second look at you, then you have no worries.  The police cannot search you or your car or house without a warrant unless you give them a reason to.  If your car is legal and you are driving safely and not blowing hits out of the window, there is no reason for the police to pull you over and if they don’t pull you over, they can’t think about searching you.  The same goes for your house and your day to day activities.

There are only two occasions when the police can just go ahead and search you and one is “Exigent Circumstances”.  This exception refers to emergency situations where the process of getting a valid search warrant could compromise public safety or could lead to a loss of evidence.  So if they hear the toilet flush, they’re coming in.

The other is “Plain View”.  If the police see your weed on the front seat or you open the front door and the police see a bong on the table, you’re busted.

(WashingtonPost.com) Kentucky police were following a man who had just sold drugs to an undercover informant. They entered an apartment breezeway, heard a door slam and found they had two choices.

Behind door No. 1 was the dealer. And, unfortunately for him, behind door No. 2 were Hollis King and friends, smoking marijuana.

Smelling the drug, the officers banged loudly on King’s apartment door and identified themselves as police. The officers said they heard a noise and feared evidence was being destroyed. They kicked down the door and found King, two friends, some drugs and cash.

King was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his conviction. It said that the officers had entered the apartment illegally and that the evidence they found should not have been considered in court.

On Wednesday, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will provide another chance for justices to decide when police may enter a home without permission or a warrant and not violate the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches.

Do click on The Washington Post link and read the entire article.  The questions asked by the justices are going to determine whether police can just bust down your door because they merely smell marijuana.