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State v. South

885 P.2d 795 (1994)

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State v. South

Utah Court of Appeals

885 P.2d 795 (1994)

Facts

A police officer went to the house of Jeffery and Dianna South (defendants) to investigate a report of a stolen cellular phone. Jeffery answered the door but refused to let the officer enter the house. The officer smelled burning marijuana coming from inside the house and from Jeffery’s clothing. The police obtained a search warrant and returned to the Souths’ property. The police searched the house and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The warrant had been defective, however, because it only authorized a search of Jeffery and Dianna’s persons, not the premises. The Souths were charged with drug offenses. Before the trial, the Souths moved to suppress the evidence, alleging that it had been seized in an illegal search made under a defective warrant. The trial court denied the motion to suppress, ruling that the police had probable cause to conduct the search under the plain-smell doctrine despite the defective warrant. The Souths were convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greenwood, J.)

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