Posts tagged "1011614"

Commonwealth v. Craan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-116-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11436   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  ANTHONY CRAAN. Suffolk.      March 3, 2014. – July 9, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Controlled Substances.  Narcotic Drugs.  Constitutional Law, Narcotic drugs, Search and seizure, Investigatory stop, Probable cause.  Search and Seizure, Motor vehicle, Threshold police inquiry, Probable cause, Search incident to lawful arrest.  Threshold Police Inquiry.  Probable Cause.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court Department on August 6, 2010.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Rosalind Henson Miller, J., and a motion for reconsideration was also heard by her.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Botsford, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by her to the Appeals Court.  The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Zachary Hillman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Brian J. Anderson for the defendant. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: William W. Adams for Ardil Innis. Donald Bronstein, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Joshua Levy, Matthew Mazzotta, & Matthew R. Segal, for American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts & another. Michael D. Cutler & Steven S. Epstein for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law.     LENK, J.  In this case, we are asked again to determine the effect of the 2008 ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana (2008 initiative) on police authority to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles, this time in the context of a search effected on the basis of the odor of unburnt marijuana.[1] The defendant’s vehicle was searched at a sobriety checkpoint on June 11, 2010, after a State police trooper smelled the odor of unburnt marijuana emanating from it.  The search revealed both loose marijuana and plastic baggies containing marijuana residue, in addition to three “Ecstasy” pills (methylenedioxy methamphetamine) and several rounds of ammunition.  The search was based on the odor of marijuana alone; the defendant exhibited no signs of impairment and, although issued a summons for criminal offenses, was permitted to drive away without being asked to submit to any field sobriety tests.  Approximately two months later, however, a criminal complaint issued charging […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

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