Washington Legal Defense
Free Consultation
Smell Test Stinks Get 150+ Years of Combined Litigation Experience on Your Side
Hester Law Group

Smell Test Stinks

Justice Charles Johnson was the majority author in State v. Grande, Docket Number 81068-1, published on July 17, 2008.

The facts of this case involved a state patrol trooper pulling a vehicle over after observing that it had very dark tinted winders. The trooper engaged the driver in a conversation through the open window during which time a moderate smell of marijuana was recognized. He arrested the driver and the passenger Grande. They were both handcuffed and searched. A marijuana pipe containing a small account of marijuana was found on passenger Grande. A burnt marijuana cigarette was found in the ashtray, ownership of which was claimed by the driver.

The Supreme Court reviewed a statute raised by the State as authority to arrest the passenger and therefore search the passenger. RCW 10.31.100 provides:

(1) Any police officer having probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, involving ... the use of or possession of cannabis ... shall have the authority to arrest the person.

The Court agreed with Grande that the reference in the statute to ‘a person’ creates a requirement of individualized probable cause. The court found that the concept of individualized probable cause before a warrantless arrest is made is consistent with both the United States and Washington State Constitutions as they relate to privacy issues.

The Court stated clearly that a vehicle can be searched based upon smell, but that something more than the smell of marijuana is necessary to establish individualized probable cause as to the passenger. Therefore, the court held that the arrest and subsequent search of the passenger was invalid and any evidence obtained from such a search should have been suppressed.

The case contains an outstanding constitutional analysis of both the Federal and State Constitutions as to privacy and probably cause issues.


Success Stories

  • If he said he was going to do something he did it. He has integrity.

    “Wayne Fricke is a terrific lawyer who knows the law. The following are only several of many ways Mr. Fricke supported me during my time of crisis: 1. Explained the charges against me in a manner that ...”

    - Former Client
  • He always exceeds expectations.

    “Mr. Fricke has been our family lawyer for about 5 years. He has done an amazing job representing my family and I. He always exceeds expectations and informs us on everything going on.”

    - Jen
  • He, at no time, treated me as though I was guilty.

    “I was accused of domestic violence and need a Lawyer to defend me. Not knowing who to hire I started with Mr. K.W. This lawyer did not seem to believe in my innocence and I was looking at 3 to 5 ...”

    - Craig
  • Mr. Fricke had his office call me weekly for updates.

    “A few years ago, I was involved in a car accident. Due to my injuries, I hired an attorney who seemingly disappeared. I was in crisis after calling the court and finding out my case had been dismissed ...”

    - Sharyl
  • He is always honest and straight forward.

    “I hired Lance Hester to help me with 2 different legal matters. One was a felony criminal case and the other was a family law issue. In the felony criminal case this individual had everything to lose ...”

    - Former Client

Proven Results

  • Reduced Sentence Drug Crime
  • Case Dismissed Multiple Counts of Child Exploitation
  • Case Dismissed Domestic Violence
  • Four Felony Charges Dismissed Four Felony Counts
  • Reduced Sentence Drug Distribution
  • Vacated Conviction 4th Degree Assault
  • Case Dismissed Possession of Stolen Property
  • Two Restraining Orders Granted Anti-harassment Orders
  • Federal Court Success Federal Probation Violation
  • Case Dismissed Rape

Why Choose the Hester Law Group?

  • Accessible to Clients

    We understand the urgency clients have when they need an attorney. We are availableĀ  24/7 to help you.

  • We Truly Care

    We feel honored to help someone through the toughest time they will ever go through.

  • Personalized Approach

    At Hester Law Group, we use a personal approach that best suits the needs of our clients.

  • Unparalleled Experience

    We have been a successful team for two decades and have over 130 years of combined experience.

We're Available 24/7

Get Started on Your Defense Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.