An article exploring the legality of motor-vehicle searches by police was recently posted on Marijuana.com. Utah Criminal Defense Attorney Clayton Simms was consulted for an expert opinion in the article.
Clayton Simms, a criminal defense attorney, said police must focus on the crime that led to the stop in the first place. If other evidence surfaces after a stop, such as the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, officers can put the motorist through sobriety tests, he said. “You can’t just stop a person for Activity A and then start searching the car for Crime B unless you have evidence of that.” Simms said whether a stop exceeds its scope depends on a number of factors, such as the reason for stopping the driver, the length of the detention, the extent of the search and the number of officers involved. (Marijuana.com UT: Police need cause to search motorists’ cars)
Simms’ mother, when hearing that her son was now able to be found on Marijuana.com replied, “And that’s what he went to law school for?”