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If an officer pulls me over (being age 20, under legal drinking age in America) and says he smells marijuana (which is impossible, given that I do not smoke, and can prove this via drug tests) anyway, given the fact that he used the basis of smelling weed to search the vehicle, he finds a handle of hard liquor, thus making me a minor in possession. MY question is this, if the officer had no reason to believe that I had ALCOHOL in my vehicle since he said he smelled weed AND there was no weed smell since I am currently on probation and CANT smoke weed, is the evidence (alcohol) admissible in court since he didn't have reasonable suspicion to find alcohol?
I hope this is clear, if anyone has any questions please reply, and if you can document legal precedents about your points it would be most appreciated.
-------------------- Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein
Im no expert on the subject, but I think the alcohol can be used in court only if he had probable cause to search the vehicle in the first place. If he searched your car on a marijuana suspicion and didnt find it, and you test negative for it both urine and hair, then the initial probable cause for him searching the vehicle is killed. Which basically means he has no case and you walk based on the 4th amendment.
There is not a lot of difference between a fox hole and a grave; but knowing that you dug your ditch and climbed in anyway.
I'm not a lawyer, and don't know for sure... the laws regarding cars and searches change a lot. Basically, you car is not your home, therefore the 4th amendment against unreasonable searches doesn't really apply (for whatever !@#$ed up reason) or the protection it does offer is a lot weaker than if you were in your home. This would be one of those cases that the cop is on pretty weak ground... you would still be arrested for possession, your car would be towed and inventoried, etc. The cop will do everything he can to get you to talk to bolster his case against you... he knows that there is a good chance the alcohol will not be allowed in court... so he needs to get you to admit to something. This is the same reason that he will tow your car... hoping that he can find drugs or something else to use against you once he inventories the contents of the car in impound. With money and a good lawyer, this would probably be dropped. However, you also mentioned probation, which isn't good. Even though the alcohol might not be allowed in court, you are still in violation of probation by having alcohol. I don't believe that your probation officer is restricted by the same rules of evidence that the courts are. Your probation officer can probably revoke your probation and have you tossed back into jail based on evidence obtained during the search and the fact that you were arrested, even if not convicted.
-------------------- Just another spore in the wind.
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