The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic
20 Years Experience
Former domestic violence & sex assault prosecutor
Free Consultation 24/7
Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Menu Contact
"The Highest Rate Of Acquittals and Dismissals" — Equal Justice Foundation

Man contends Florida police didn't have right to search car

A Miami man says police had no legal right to search his vehicle in May 2018 once they smelled the scent of marijuana.

His side said now that marijuana is legal for a limited, but growing, number of Floridians, the smell of marijuana isn't a telltale sign of unlawful behavior.

The 24-year-old man, however, doesn't have precedent on his side. Supreme courts in other states have said the smell of marijuana constitutes probable cause for a search.

And the prosecutor handling the case in Miami-Dade County said that using marijuana in public and in cars still is a crime; therefore, probable cause is allowable.

Florida is among the 33 states that have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Ten additional states allow recreational marijuana, even though federal law doesn't.

In 2016, Florida voters approved a broad use of medical marijuana. Lawmakers limited the use to oils, edibles and bills but not smoking.

"In most states now, there is marijuana allowed for a lawful purpose. That just makes ‘probable cause' much more complicated," a professor of marijuana law and policy at the University of Denver told the Tampa Bay Times.

In the Florida case, the man didn't say he has a card to allow for use of medical marijuana, but he still contends his car was illegally searched. He has been charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or sell and the possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis.

The courts will rule on this man's case. But whatever is decided, this case brings up interesting legal scenarios that will have to be answered as medical marijuana usage spreads.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email us for a response

Palm Beach Gardens Office
Village Square Professional Park
800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Phone: 561-656-2024
Fax: 561-656-2041
Map & Directions

Lakewood Office
200 Union Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80228

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Phone: 303-809-3425
Fax: 303-569-2233
Map & Directions

Frisco Office
307 Main Street
Frisco, CO 80443

Toll Free: 800-478-8859
Phone: 970-668-3222
Fax: 303-569-2233
Map & Directions