Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a California drug possession case discussing whether or not the police officers’ search of the defendant’s car was justified. The court eventually concluded that the search lacked probable cause, and held that any evidence recovered as a result of that search must be suppressed.
According to the opinion of the court, police officers pulled over the defendant, who was driving a gold Cadillac. The defendant, who had a front-seat passenger with him, pulled over and explained that he did not have his license. The officers asked him to step out, and they patted him down to confirm that he did not have any identification on him. During the pat-down, they discovered a small amount of marijuana. The defendant explained that he delivered medical marijuana.
Officers placed the defendant in handcuffs and turned their attention to the passenger. The passenger was placed in handcuffs and told that he would be free to go if a search of the car did not reveal anything illegal. At this point, both the defendant and the passenger were out of the car, and the officers conducted a thorough search of the car. Ultimately, they discovered a backpack in the truck containing a gun and a large sum of money. The police then obtained a key to the locked glove box and found cocaine inside. The defendant was arrested and charged accordingly.