Tag: actual possession

Felony Drug Charges Dismissed After New Garbage Rip Law Struck

Hey, Senator Dawson and Representative Holt!  It’s your boy, Murph.  Didn’t I tell you in March that this wouldn’t turn out well? I’m talking about your unconstitutional efforts to restore the illegal practice of warrantless garbage searches in Iowa.  You know, the police tactic that we struck down last year in State v. Wright? The first district court to consider your magnum opus found it unconstitutional. That’s right. The State even dismissed the charges the following day. Think about it.  It took less than 24 hours for the State to decide it wouldn’t defend your garbage on appeal. And who […]

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Objections to Inadmissible Evidence in Drug Crime Trials Must be Specific

On September 21, 2022 the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed felony convictions for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and drug tax stamps in State v. Hansel. The ruling provides a great reminder to drug crime attorneys on the proper way to object to evidence, especially “prior bad acts” testimony. In this case, the arresting officer volunteered the defendant had numerous outstanding warrants including one for assault.  Defense counsel simply interjected, “Your Honor,” without making a specific objection.  It was enough to prevent any further prior bad acts from entering the record, but the toothpaste was obviously now out of […]

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Iowa Supreme Court Reinstates Drug Possession Conviction

On December 3, 2021 the Iowa Supreme Court reinstated a drug possession conviction in State v. Jones. The ruling provides a good reminder to the drug defense bar regarding the differences between actual and constructive possession. The drugs in this case were located in a small drawstring bag on the ground near Jones’ front bumper.  The Iowa Court of Appeals determined this was a constructive possession case because the bag was not found on Jones. That is an incomplete statement of the law. A person can be in actual possession when substantial evidence supports a finding the contraband was on […]

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