Imagine that you are at home, minding your own business, growing safe plants in your basement. Your neighbors have never complained about what you are doing, and you have no prior history with the police. Yet, due to a random auto accident in front of your house, the cops decide on a whim to search your house and find your marijuana plants. You didn’t have anything to do with the crash, yet the cops search your house. As a result, you are arrested. Does that sound fair? Does that sound legal?
Those are questions that are going to be asked in front of the Georgia Supreme Court it sounds like according to the Georgia Care Project. According to the Georgia Care Project:
Though he had committed no crime other than crashing his car, they decided to launch a full scale search with dogs of adjacent properties, even though they had the drivers address a mile away.
Two hours into the search they decided to call it off when, according to police, they heard a branch break in the woods behind Mr. Mitchell’s house 450 feet from the road through heavy woods.
At 1:30 a.m. they then went down Mitchell’s driveway and proceeded to search around his house allegedly because they believed they had “exigent emergency circumstances” to do so.
As they went around the side of the house the dog “pulled away” to Mitchell’s basement door and alerted. They made contact with Mitchell who was mad that police had come on his property with dogs and he refused consent to search. They got a search warrant and found Mitchell was growing marijuana in his basement.
How would this be different than the cops just walking up and down streets with drug dogs and searching any and every house on the block as they saw fit? Privacy is virtual non-existent under those circumstances. I guarantee this isn’t what our Founding Fathers had envisioned when they drafted the Bill of Rights. The article went on to say:
The case went to the Georgia Court of Appeals and in a unanimous decision they ruled the search was NOT legal, violated his clients right to be free from unreasonable searches and that the use of dogs around people’s homes under these types of circumstances was wholly illegal. Mitchell’s conviction was thrown out.
West reported his court victory on his Facebook page saying “Totally kick ass news and another win against illegal police searches of home grown marijuana.”
West received notice days ago that the state is appealing this decision to the Supreme Court of Georgia and are asking them to rule that police acted properly.
I hope the Georgia Supreme Court rules in favor of Mr. Mitchell, and that this matter is put to rest once and for all.