A Gainesville Police Department officer responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. The officer discovered the vehicle in a location away from any homes or businesses. After activating emergency lights, the officer walked up to the vehicle and noticed a bong sitting on the curb outside the passenger side door. There were two individuals in the vehicle, one of which was the registered owner. As the two occupants exited the vehicle, the officer noticed the odor of burnt cannabis coming from the vehicle. The bong outside was emanating a strong odor of burnt cannabis as if it had been recently used. The owner of the vehicle admitted to having cannabis inside the vehicle and gave the officer consent to search the vehicle. The officer found a clear plastic bag in the center console which contained a green leafy substance that tested positive for cannabis. Additionally, there was a bottle of liquor behind the driver’s seat of the vehicle which was only ¾ full. The owner admitted the items were his and he was arrested and charged.
The owner had already retained Meldon Law for another unrelated charge. We were able to negotiate a favorable plea deal with the State Attorney’s office to resolve these two cases together. Originally, the State offered to drop the earlier charges in exchange for a plea to the new possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of alcohol with a one-year probation term. The final agreement with the State Attorney’s office allowed the defendant plea no contest to and receive a withholding of adjudication of the possession of alcohol. All of the other charges in this and the earlier case were dropped and the probation was reduced to a six-month term.