Centre County Drug Case - Suspected Marijuana was Not Marijuana

Penn State Marijuana Possession Charge Dismissed

A Penn State police officer searched the client's residence and found what the officer believed was marijuana. The Penn State officer charged the client with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana, 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(31). The Police Criminal Complaint filed by the officer with the State College judge stated that the officer knew the substance was marijuana based upon his training, knowledge, and experience in handling many marijuana cases. Police officers in Pennsylvania routinely assert that they knew that a substance was marijuana or other drug based upon their training and experience as probable cause to arrest or seek issuance of a search warrant.

The client retained Centre County drug possession defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle to challenge the Penn State criminal charge. Attorney Dunkle reviewed the copies of incident and lab reports that were provided by the Centre County District Attorney's Office, and the State College marijuana possession defense attorney discovered that the Pennsylvania State Police forensic laboratory testing confirmed that the substance was not marijuana. The experienced Penn State police officer had misidentified the substance and filed erroneous charges of Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana.

Motion to Dismiss Marijuana Charge Filed

Because the laboratory report confirmed that the substance was not marijuana, Attorney Dunkle filed a Motion to Dismiss the Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana charge with the Centre County Court. At a hearing on the defense Motion to Dismiss, the Centre County District Attorney's Office agreed that the Commonwealth did not have sufficient evidence to proceed with the marijuana possession charge filed by the Penn State officer, and the prosecution agreed to have the Centre County judge dismiss the misdemeanor drug charge.