MARYLAND MARIJUANA LAW: COURT UPHOLDS WARRANTLESS SEARCH ON “INEVITABLE DISCOVERY”

On Friday, Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld a conviction for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, even though the evidence was founding during a warrantless search of the defendant’s apartment. Abraham Kamara v. State, (Ct. of Special App, June 7, 2012).

The Montgomery County police used a “knock-n-talk” technique to gain entry to Kamara’s apartment. Once there, they decided to apply for a search warrant. While the warrant was being sought, the police conducted a warrantless “protective sweep” of the apartment, where they discovered Marijuana.

Often a “protective sweep” (supposedly to see if anyone armed and dangerous might be in the apartment) is just an another term for a warrantless search.

The Court of Special Appeals found that the protective sweep as unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment, but that the warrant was untainted and independent of the earlier illegality. Thus, the police search was saved by the “inevitable discovery” rule.

No word whether defendant, who was sentenced to 3 years, will all but 9 months suspended, will continue his appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals. Stay tuned.

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Categories: maryland arrest

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