State v. EM


Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Prohibited Person in Possession)


All charges dismissed

EM was stopped by police for a traffic violation in Anoka County, Minnesota. When officers claimed to smell the odor of marijuana, they ordered him to exit the vehicle and executed a warrantless search of the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, they discovered a handgun in the center console. EM was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a prior felony conviction.

In the recent case of State of Minnesota v. Torgeson, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the odor of marijuana alone is not grounds to search a vehicle.  On EM’s behalf, we filed a motion to suppress the results of the search. The prosecutor argued that the search was constitutional since the officer also believed EM was acting nervous and suspicious.

Ultimately, the Court agreed that the search was unconstitutional. The evidence recovered was suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree. Since the gun was suppressed, the case and all charges were dismissed.