Tag: warrantless search

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 […]

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CDL Saved After Urine Test Results Suppressed

In the process of saving a CDL from being disqualified, the impaired driving attorneys at GRL exposed a potential flaw in the implied consent advisory for commercial motor vehicles. The advisory provides that commercial driving privileges will be disqualified if the drivers tests over 0.04 for alcohol or refuses testing while operating a CMV. However, it says nothing about a DQ for a positive urine test. So, is a commercial driver’s decision to consent to urine testing reasoned and informed under the circumstances?  We think not. As a result, we were able to not only suppress the urine test, but […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Can I be FORCED to provide a breath sample to law enforcement if I am suspected of OWI?

Can I be FORCED to provide a breath sample to law enforcement if I am suspected of OWI? As criminal defense attorneys specializing in OWI defense, we often get questions about what to do if arrested for an OWI.  Many of the questions surround what to do if asked for a sample from your body: If I am suspected of OWI, can the cops require me to give them a breath test? What about a urine or blood test? Can’t I just refuse? I thought I could refuse a test and they just take my license for longer, right? Can […]

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Consent Searches to Verify Medical Cannabidiol Registration Status

The Iowa Department of Public Health began issuing digital medical cannabidiol registration cards for qualified patients and caregivers.  They come complete with a QR code that may be scanned by law enforcement to verify the person’s status.  The Department advises that “law enforcement representatives may request to temporarily handle your mobile device to verify your registration card.” The drug crime lawyers at GRL recommend that you consent to a request by a peace officer to briefly handle your phone to scan the QR code verifying your status as a person who can possess medical cannabidiol.  That will likely end the […]

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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 […]

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Warning! Warrantless Searches of Curbside Garbage Resume July 1, 2022

Readers of the GRL Law blog are no doubt familiar with the firm’s efforts to protect the privacy rights of Iowans in State v. Wright.  That’s the 2021 ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court that banned police from trespassing on your curbside garbage and searching it without a warrant. Predictably, the law enforcement community threw a tantrum after the ruling.  And they ran kicking and screaming to some legislators at the statehouse who obviously can’t appreciate the difference between the Iowa Bill of Rights and the Communist Manifesto. The result? Effective tomorrow, July 1, 2022, anyone can scavenge your garbage.  […]

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Do Marijuana Seeds Still Provide PC to Search?

There was a time when the observation of marijuana seeds on the floorboard of a vehicle provided probable cause to search. Why? Because the definition of “marijuana” under Iowa law includes cannabis seeds. However, with the passage of the Iowa Hemp Act, Iowa Code chapter 204, that may no longer be the case. “Hemp” in Iowa is any part of the cannabis plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of up to 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.  The definition of hemp also includes seeds.  Hemp is legal to possess in the state of Iowa. Both marijuana and hemp seeds […]

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Plain View Observation is Not Probable Cause to Search

Do police have the right to search your car without a warrant if they see THC edibles in your center console during a traffic stop? The answer may surprise you. Suspected contraband in plain view does not necessarily provide probable cause to search the passenger compartment.  Sure, the observation alone might provide PC under the right circumstances, but it’s still the State’s burden to prove it. The drug defense attorneys at GRL Law believe PC requires more that just a plain view observation. Like furtive movements or efforts to conceal.  Or uncooperative behavior or false identification by the driver or […]

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