Police searched car because he "Smelling" Marijuana

Asked about 2 years ago - Rockville, MD

I don't even smoke or drink and have a VERY clean car. Got pulled over, cop saying stay out of the car and he wants to search because he "Smelling" Marijuana.

Is this "Smelling" trick would give him probable cause?

What would be a good answer to him to refuse it? I don't think, "Sir, I don't even smoke" could work and stop him here because the cop 99.9% is NOT even smelling Marijuana but his intent is to search the car and this is his reason to do it legally.

What would be a good answer to him to refuse it in such as case?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Warren E Tydings Jr

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If he asked to search your car, a good answer would be "No". If he did not ask, you may likely have a supreesion issue if he found anything. They often will bring the dog to smell outside your car and then inside. Never consent to a search. They will threaten you and try to coerce you. Remain calm and just say no. After that it is out of your control so don't argue. Then remain silent and wait until you can speak to an attorney. I am available 24/7.

    This response is based on information provided. Many variables may exist that can only be addressed in an... more
  2. William Lawrence Welch III

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ultimately, whether the police had probable cause to search would be decided by a judge in a suppression hearing. Nothing requires you to consent to anything. Sometimes consent might be required as a condition of receiving a privilege, such as a driver's license, which requires drivers to submit to alcohol testing.

    Information in the reply is provided as a public service. It is neither a comprehensive statement of the law nor... more
  3. Frank Mascagni III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I don't know your age, what you were pulled over for, or other facts, but I have an answer that I give sometimes when I'm prepared to go to jail for some other violation and/or crime invented by the police officer after I utter it:

    Officer, do you have a warrant for my arrest? A search warrant for my vehicle or car? Have I committed a misdemeanor in your presence? Do you have probable cause to arrest me? If not, please back away from my car because it is my intention to drive away.

    Be prepared to be insulted and charged with AI, DC, failure to comply with a lawful command, etc. The question is, is it worth it? I tell many of my clients that you don't have any constitutional rights on the street, only when I assert them for you in a court of law. How about: I do not consent to the search?

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this... more
  4. Carmine John Giardino

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you don't already have a lawyer, hire one to help you. The law is complex and there may be things that can be done that you didn't know about. Good luck!

    If this answer was helpful to you or if it was the best answer, please click the buttons that state helpful and... more
  5. Ginger R Robinson

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . Yes, the smell of marijuana absolutely is a trick used by police officers to generate probable cause to search a vehicle when the owner hasn't given consent. Under Maryland law, the distinct odor of marijuana provides the police with probable cause, and they often use this as a basis to arrest and/or search individuals even when the ability to actually smell the marijuana, if it even exists, appears impossible. Once the police establish probable cause, they don't need consent to search the vehicle, and it is unlikely that anything you say will stop them. However, if you are asked for permission to search, you should always say, "No."

Related Topics

Criminal defense

Criminal law establishes the classifications of crimes, how guilt or innocence is determined, and the types of punishment or rehabilitation that may be imposed.

Marijuana laws and criminal charges

Marijuana laws are federal, state, and local laws regulating the growth, distribution and possession of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.

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