Greenback or Greenbag?

This dollar bill analysis brought to you by an otherwise insignificant case:

Patdown produced a lighter and the officer saw a straw protruding from the pocket. In the watch pocket was a folded dollar bill. Despite the fact the officer knew that dollar bills could be folded and contain drugs, the inherently legal nature of the dollar bill prohibited the officer from searching it. Grandison v. Commonwealth, 2007 Va. LEXIS 79 (June 8, 2007).

When I read that, I thought it was totally outrageous, so I looked up Grandison v. Commonwealth. I found entire cases having to do with the folding of dollar bills like this one:

In theory, of course, someone might manipulate a dollar bill in this manner simply for the origami fun of it or for wholly innocuous utilitarian purposes (like packaging vitamins or rock candy).

Despite acknowledging that dollar bills can be great fun, the court concluded that:

The circumstances of this case and Snell’s flight from police, his act of discarding something from his pocket while on the run, and his manipulation of a dollar bill into a four-fold square container in a manner characteristic of illegal drug packaging provided the officers with probable cause to unfold the folded dollar bill and seize the cocaine found within.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about keeping your coke in a dollar bill, you better find a nice place to hide it.

(via forthamendment.com)


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Random Posts

  • Justice Ginsburg and the Future of the Court: One can only hope that Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) horded the tasteless Intrade contract for "Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Be Next Justice to Depar...
  • Predicting the April Sitting: I run into the exact same debate every year around mid-January: which cases will be heard during the current term and which will be pushed o...
  • Change is Fun But...: I'm sad to see Justice Stevens leave the Court for a variety of reasons that have been well documented by people smarter than me. I'm also e...
  • OT 08 Term Statistics: With the release of several opinions this week, the Court has now released 26 opinions for the term. Its time to take a look at some of the ...
  • First Opinion Stats: As we wait for the first opinion of the term, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first signed opinion released in recen...