Is an officer’s belief or suspicion that an odor of marijuana was coming from a Penn State dorm room or State College apartment sufficient "probable cause" to justify issuance of a search warrant?

Possession of Marijuana Criminal Defense Attorney

Both the Pennsylvania and United States Supreme Courts have held that the odor of marijuana is sufficient to allow the police to request and receive a search warrant. More specifically, in 1948, the United States Supreme Court stated in the case of Johnson v.United States that "if the presence of odors is testified to before a magistrate and he finds the affiant qualified to know the odor, and it is one sufficiently distinctive to identify a forbidden substance, this Court has never held such a basis insufficient to justify issuance of a search warrant." Penn State and State College police officers routinely seek issuance of search warrants based upon the odor of marijuana emanating from apartments or dorm rooms.

Even when odor is present never assume the warrant was valid

While warrants are routinely issued and may be issued based upon the odor of marijuana, one should not assume that the warrant was valid. The warrant should always be reviewed by an experienced defense lawyer, such as State College criminal defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle. Some issues that a criminal defense lawyer would consider are whether or not the officer's application for issuance of the search warrant contained sufficient probable cause to justify issuance, whether the information included in the application was obtained lawfully, and whether the warrant was sought and issued in accordance with the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Read about some criminal defense strategies that were successfully used by Attorney Dunkle in drug cases.

Free Initial Consultation - State College Criminal Defense Lawyer

Our law firm is located just a block from the University Park Campus of Penn State in downtown State College. We are happy to help people from Centre County, Blair County, Clearfield County, Huntingdon County, Mifflin County, Clinton County and other nearby counties who have been charged with a crime. We always offer a free initial consultation and you will always deal with Attorney Jason Dunkle. You may email me or call my office today at 814-954-1094 or 814-954-1094 or email us.