Client was stopped in rural Tehama County because a police officer believed that his vehicle posed a fire hazard (had chain dragging from underneath). When the officer stopped the client’s van, he smelled an odor of marijuana. A search yielded 700lbs of processed marijuana inside the van. Client was arrested for transportation/distribution of marijuana with intent to sell.
Attorney Friedman researched the law and found that dragging a chain was not prohibited by the California Vehicle Code. Prior to the vehicle stop, the area had received 2.5 inches of rain. Friedman was able to convince the court that the officer’s belief that the chain constituted a fire hazard was unreasonable. The judge agreed, and granted the defense’s motion to suppress. Case dismissed!