The February 8th, 2016 issue of Rhode Island Lawyer's Weekly has featured an innovative drug defense argument put forward by Attorney Matthew Marin in the case of State v. Peters which is currently pending in the Rhode Island District Court. The article, titled "Legality of 'Pot' Searches Weighed by the District Court", details the evolution of the law involving marijuana and search and seizure law in Rhode Island. The decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana in Rhode Island has created uncertainty and questions involving the lawful extent of police authority to search individuals, cars, and objects based on marijuana evidence.
In the case of State v. Peters, the issue is squarely presented before the Rhode Island District Court. RI Lawyers Weekly author Pat Murphy used our quote to squarely articulate the legal argument presented by the defendant in the Peters case:
"'Evidence of some marijuana — whether it be the odor of marijuana or small, decriminalized quantities of marijuana — alone cannot establish probable cause to conduct a search to determine if there's a criminal amount of marijuana present in a particular location,' Marin said."
The issue is set to be decided later this month in a decision in the Newport County District Court on February 19th. While the decision will not necessarily be binding on other Courts in the State, it would appear to be one of the first decisions squarely on the issue of Police authority to search based on the odor of marijuana or decriminalized quantities of marijuana.
If you or a loved one is facing a Rhode Island Drug charge, contact Attorney Matthew Marin for experienced and aggressive legal representation. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271.