Lakeville, MN asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Minnesota

Q: Is that a public park is a "known drug area" sufficient as "reasonable suspicion" for search without any other evidence?

Legally parked, in an open public park at a reasonable time of day, eating dinner and playing a video game on his cell, my friend looked up from his game surprised to find a squad car parked perpendicular to his truck with lights activated. Thinking something was wrong my friend got out to see what the problem was and the officer exited his vehicle at the same time and immediately says out loud, "I smell marijuana." Cop charges over to my friend standing next to his truck and immediately "frisks" him, diving into pockets & finds one hitter pot pipe forgot in a pocket. Given this meets requirements to constitute "seizure" and should be protected by the fourth amendment, a "reasonable suspicion" is required for having made the stop. My friend was told the "stop" was made was because the park was allegedly a "known drug area". My friend hired a lawyer who has not shown any evidences from discovery to my friend, suggests he take a plea deal with no mention of reasonable suspicion.

1 Lawyer Answer

Thomas C Gallagher

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Whether police have an articulable suspicion of criminal activity, sufficient to justify a Fourth Amendment seizure,depends upon all the facts then known to that police officer. Of course, I don't have access to that information. His defense attorney of record on the case should. If friend has questions, he or she should directly address those questions to his or her lawyer. And request a copy of the discovery from his or her lawyer.

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