Charge: Possession of Marijuana, Minor Misdemeanor (maximum $150 fine and mandatory license suspension of 6 months to 3 years).
Facts: Client was charged with Possession of Marijuana after being pulled over and having his car searched while leaving the Hookahville concert festival. The police officer ordered Client out of his own vehicle and into the police cruiser during the traffic stop. Prior to placing Client in the police cruiser, the officer told Client that he needed to search Client for weapons as a safety precaution. During the search, the officer discovered drug paraphernalia in Client’s pants pocket. A subsequent search of Client’s car revealed a small amount of marijuana. The officer elected to charge Client only with Possession of Marijuana.
I prepared and filed a motion to suppress on behalf of Client, arguing that the search of Client for weapons was nothing more than a pretext to search for drugs. My experience and research both revealed that such pretextual searches are unconstitutional.
Result: After I filed the motion to suppress, the Assistant Prosecutor dismissed the marijuana charge against Client. I was successfully able to avoid any probation, fines or a driver’s license suspension for the Client.
Union County – Trafficking in Marijuana, Third Degree Felony (maximum 5 Years in prison and $10,0000 fine); Possession of Marijuana, Third Degree Felony (maximum 5 Years in prison and $10,0000 fine); Trafficking in Marijuana, Fourth Degree Felony (maximum 18 months in prison and $5,000.00 fine); Possessing Criminal Tools, Fifth Degree Felony (maximum 12 months in prison and $2,500.00 fine); and Engaging in a Patter of Corrupt Activity (RICO), First Degree Felony, (maximum 10 years in prison and $20,000 fine).
Franklin County – Trafficking in Marijuana, Third Degree Felony (maximum 5 Years in prison and $10,0000 fine); Possession of Marijuana, Third Degree Felony (maximum 5 Years in prison and $10,0000 fine).
Facts: Client was arrested and charged with multiple drug trafficking and drug possession offenses stemming from separate events that occurred in Union County, Ohio and Franklin County, Ohio, and involved a confidential informant (CI). A search warrant was also executed at Client’s residence, during which officers seized a significant amount of marijuana and money.
Union County – Client was facing the possibility of more than 20 years in prison if convicted of all the charges in both counties. In Union County, Ohio, I began aggressively attacking the case by arguing that a vehicular stop and search of Client’s vehicle was unconstitutional. As a result, I was able to negotiate a plea deal for Client that resulted in Client pleading guilty to 2 counts of Trafficking in Marijuana and 1 count of Possession of Marijuana. The other charges in the Indictment were dismissed.
Client received a prison sentence of 4 years; however, the State agreed to recommend Client’s judicial release from prison after 6 months.
Franklin County – In Franklin County, I also aggressively attacked the case and argued that the search warrant affidavit for the search of Client’s residence lacked probable cause. As a result, I was able to negotiate a plea deal for Client that resulted in client pleading guilty to a reduced charge of Attempted Trafficking in Marijuana. Client received a prison sentence of 7 months that was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence in Union County, Ohio.
The net result is that Client received a total prison sentence of only 7 months after facing the possibility of more than 20 years in prison.