Tag: drug possession

Drug Charges Dismissed Following Suppression Win

When it comes to warrantless searches, the drug crime attorneys at GRL Law really know their stuff. A recent example from North Iowa shows just how they leverage their knowledge to secure a dismissal by shining a bright light on illegal police conduct. Our client was the passenger in a vehicle that was parked one minute past the deadline in a city park.  Rather than simply wave on the driver, police decided to engage the occupants instead and request identification. When the driver rolled down the window, the officer smelled marijuana. Now, the driver owned up to a vape pen […]

Read More

Drug Charges Thrown Out After GRL Challenges Search of Commercial Motor Vehicle

In what may be the first ruling of its kind in Buchanan County, a GRL client is a free man today after the district court there suppressed the search of his semi truck and dismissed all charges. At issue was the Level II inspection criteria that many counties with weight stations impermissibly use to justify searches for “alcohol and drugs.” GRL previously covered this topic here. CDL drivers are usually at the mercy of DOT officers and state troopers who believe all closed containers in the truck cabin are subject to search.  To be sure, commercial trucking is certainly a […]

Read More

FMCSA Level II Inspections for Alcohol and Drugs

The drug crime attorneys at GRL have seen our fair share of searches involving commercial motor vehicles.  Whether its a random stop on the highway or the weight station, DOT officers will seize the opportunity to search closed containers in the truck cab under the authority for inspecting closely regulating industries. They will tell the driver the search is for receipts and permits and the like.  But you should know it is for alcohol and drugs instead. The DOT claims it has the authority to search your mini-fridge, Igloo coolers, personal belongings, etc., based on the reference to “alcohol and […]

Read More

Court Grants GRL Motion to Dismiss Drug Charge

On November 28, 2022, the district court in Pocahontas County granted our application to dismiss a possession charge based on a violation of the one-year speedy trial provisions in Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33. We were able to demonstrate that the state did not bring our client to trial within one year of his plea of not guilty and good cause did not exist to continue the prosecution under the circumstances. GRL took over the defense of this case from another firm and stood ready to defend the charge based on a constructive possession defense.  We believed there was […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

THC Vape Charges Dismissed After Search of Mail Suppressed

It goes without saying that postal service investigations rarely turn out well for those who receive marijuana products by mail.  Drug dogs and search warrants will conspire to reveal the contents of suspicious packages before they reach the mailbox.  At that point, the recipients face a Hobson’s choice: either snitch on friends or cop to a felony. What can you do when neither is an option? You guessed it. You get the drug crime lawyers at GRL Law involved. Here’s an example of how we can flip the script on these mailed drug cases that don’t involve the odor of […]

Read More

Drug Charge Dismissed After GRL Challenges Marijuana Identification

GRL recently put its knowledge of drug identification procedures to the test in a case involving alleged THC vape liquid. Police seized a vape cart during a traffic stop.  Field testing of the liquid extract showed a positive color change indicating the possible presence of marijuana. Frequent readers of the GRL Law blog know that field testing can mistake CBD for marijuana.  We’ve discussed this phenomenon here. This is where things get interesting. Police didn’t send the cart to the state crime lab.  Instead, they sent it to a local department that employs an officer with training in marijuana identification.  […]

Read More

Drug Felonies Dismissed Following Unconstitutional Garbage RIp

Earlier this year GRL convinced the Iowa Supreme Court to outlaw the police tactic of warrantless garbage searches in State v. Wright. We haven’t rested on our laurels since the ruling.  Instead, we got to work in several counties where these trash rips resulted in felony charges. A recent case in southeastern Iowa was no exception.  The facts were essentially identical to Wright.  Police illegally trespassed onto our client’s garbage containers set out for collection to scavenge trash.  A search of this trash led to a search warrant to search our client’s home resulting in two drug felony charges. However, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More