Street arrests for drug offenses in California must meet certain constitutional standards. Before an officer can stop an individual on a public street the officer must have what is called a reasonable suspicion. That requirement is less demanding than the probable cause required to make an arrest or obtain a search warrant. Therefore, if there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity sufficient to authorize a proper "stop and frisk," and if drugs are found during a superficial frisk for weapons, a drug possession charge will possibly meet constitutional muster.
One couple in California was recently arrested after police said they had been growing 100 pot plants in their backyard. When charges are filed against people thought to have been in possession of marijuana or other drugs, the accused individuals reserve the right to fight back legally. The criminal defense's responsibility is to make sure that the defendants' legal rights and personal best interests are protected during the whole criminal proceeding.
The fact that marijuana plants are found growing on someone's land does not necessarily mean that the landowner is guilty of a drug offense in California, or anywhere else. State marijuana investigators recently raided several parcels of land in El Dorado County on suspicion that a male suspect was growing pot on the parcels. Authorities allege that, although the land was titled in the name of the suspect's wife, they were controlled by the suspect.
Being arrested and facing serious drug charges can be intimidating. Unfortunately, the nightmare of being accused of committing a drug crime is an unfortunate reality for many. One California man recently faced drug and felony weapons charges and entered a not guilty plea.