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Bloomington Appeal Overturns Marijuana Conviction

Officers in Bloomington were on the lookout for an individual unrelated to the defendant. In their search, they encountered a long driveway blocked by a cable, accompanied by a clear “No Trespassing” sign. Ignoring these indicators, the officers removed the cable and proceeded.

When officers got out of their vehicle, they detected the odor of marijuana. The property owner informed police she had never heard of the man they were looking for and refused consent to search the property. Police then detained two occupants that were outside while one officer entered the home without a warrant to remove any other occupants. One of the occupants was the man charged in this case.

Police then applied for and received a warrant. One of the occupants of the house, a Monroe County man, was then charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana. He filed a motion to suppress the evidence, which the trial court denied and was subsequently convicted.

On appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals highlighted the officers' lack of concrete suspicion regarding their initial person of interest and emphasized the officers' uncertainty about his actual residence. The Court also found that it was unreasonable for the officers to bypass the cable and the “No Trespassing”. Because the suspicions were slight, and it was unreasonable for the officers to go past the cable, the Court of Appeals held the evidence should be suppressed and the conviction reversed.

For anyone in Bloomington or Monroe County facing marijuana charges, contact a criminal defense attorney who can critically evaluate the legality of police searches. If you or someone you know is seeking legal advice or representation related to marijuana charges in Monroe County, consulting with a Bloomington criminal defense attorney is crucial.