Randall Grantham P.A. - Tampa, Florida Lawyer

Criminal + DUI & Traffic + Personal Injury

Trusted for justice, Tampa, Florida attorney Randall Grantham works with individuals to keep their rights protected. Areas of practice - Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, DUI and traffic  

Filtering by Category: Marijuana

You Don’t Always Reap What You Sow

Even though the public attitude on marijuana seems to be swinging towards reason, our laws and our law enforcement agencies are still treating the cultivation and possession of grass as a heinous offense.  I was one of three attorneys representing a family of 3 that had been caught growing some kind bud in the garage. 

The family was Cuban and spoke little to no English.  The Sheriff’s Office had been following up on a cold tip that a wanted gang-banger was living in the house where our Latino Farmers had moved in and they went to check it out.  After convincing the head-of-household that the arrest warrant gave them the right to search the house, they found the plants and charged husband, wife and teen son with trafficking in drugs, a crime that carries minimum mandatory prison sentences for all involved.

Even though the gangster hadn’t lived at that address for several years, the cops did their best to convince us that it was a hot tip and they had good reason to believe that he was in there.

Between the 3 of us legal types, we dug up enough police department and sheriff office internal communications to show that, not only was there no reason to believe he was there, but law enforcement knew he was not there.  The judge threw out all the evidence, finding that the cops coerced the man to agree to the search and that they had no reason to believe the bad guy was there.

Win-Win-Win Situation

CB is a hard worker. He was at his job, finishing up his kitchen shift while his girlfriend waited in the car for him.  Also in the parking lot were some of HCSO’s finest, sniffing around for trouble. They sniffed around CB’s car and smelt some skunk.  Getting the girlfriend out of the car, they searched it and found a small amount of marijuana in the console.  They were in the process of charging the girlfriend, a student at a local college, when CB came out to leave. He saw the cops with their surgical gloves on, reefer on the hood and cuffs out and told them not to arrest her (endangering her education) but to arrest him because it was his pot.

Amazingly, they accepted his offer. He was charged with the pot, not her and he hired me.

Now even though the cops found the pot in the car he said was his, and he  also said that the pot was his, I took a look at the case from a legal perspective because that is my job, after all.

I analyzed the case and felt there were problems with the proof.  You see, even if a person admits to a crime, the State still has to prove the crime.  CB had admitted that he owned the weed, but that’s not the crime. Possessing the stuff is what is unlawful and that requires proof that you know it’s there coupled with the ability to exercise control over it.  Here it was clear he knew it was there and he even admitted smoking some on his break to explain the odor of burnt weed they smelled. But he was in the bar at work when the cops found it! How could he “exercise control” over the marijuana in the car with his girlfriend in there and she had the keys to the car?

Everyone I spoke with told me that the case was a loser.  I should just plea bargain, but I persisted. We filed a Motion to Dismiss and argued it before the judge.  To all the other lawyers’ surprise, my logic, and the motion, prevailed. Case dismissed.

The girlfriend avoided an arrest that would jeopardize her enrollment at school, CB got the case dismissed, and I got a bunch of well-deserved atta-boys from my peers.

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