Legal Blog

Woman Found Not Guilty of Marijuana Possession after Improper Search

25 August 2017 | Case Results,  Criminal Defense,  Marijuana,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

25 August 2017

Case Results,  Criminal Defense,  Marijuana,  

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As a highly-skilled and experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer, Sean Hessler recently assisted a woman when a house party led to visit from police, a questionable search of her home, and criminal marijuana possession and paraphernalia charges. While the officer claimed that upon arrival, he was given permission to search the property, and the homeowner handed him a small amount of marijuana and a piece of paraphernalia, the woman in question refuted his statements. Therefore, she reached out to Hessler Law, PC to go over all her options to hopefully avoid some pretty harsh consequences.

This case was taken to trial and to address these discrepancies, attorney Hessler presented numerous witnesses to contradict the officer’s claim that he was given permission and it was actually another person that handed over the illicit marijuana and paraphernalia. By illustrating this mix-up, the judge found the woman not guilty of marijuana possession; however, guilty of the paraphernalia offense and 180 days of probation. Even though this result spared the woman from some severe ramifications, believing the judge incorrectly applied the law, attorney Hessler continued to passionately advocate for his client and pursued an appeal. The case was eventually heard by The Indiana Court of Appeals, who decided that is was, in fact, an illegal search.

Specifically, the decision stated, “[T]he warrantless search offended the Indiana Constitution and the trial court erred in admitting evidence procured during the search. Disregarding that evidence, there is insufficient evidence to support Couch’s conviction of Possession of Paraphernalia. We therefore reverse and order the trial court to vacate the conviction.”

In the end, the client’s patience and Hessler’s advocacy paid off and the woman was finally vindicated as she maintained her innocence throughout, and even refused several plea deals that many would have taken in her situation. Although the process was daunting, she can put the situation behind her and is now eligible to have the entire incident expunged from her record.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.