Traffic stops are obviously routine throughout New Jersey. So too are allegations of “smell” or “odor” of burnt marijuana by police officers. Indeed, this unquestionably has to be the most frequent rationale for an ensuing search in our experience. Some times what starts as a goose chase turns into nothing but in other instances, like what happened in Freehold this past week, the expedition results in major fruit. The stop and search in Freehold this week yielded what appears to be in excess of at least one pound of marijuana.
Probable cause for a search is always a primary issue that our lawyers focus on whenever a automobile search is involved. The classic allegation of burnt marijuana can pose obstacles but it is not impossible to overcome. It takes careful preparation and legal research, and focused cross-examination to win these types of suppression motions. I know that the defense attorneys at our firm get particular satisfaction from success in these cases.