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Marijuana Possession, Vandalism, Obstructing – All charges dismissed before trial

Our client came to Madison from out of state for a visit and rented a hotel room.  Police were called to the room based on a noise complaint.  While standing outside of the room, police said they smelled the odor of marijuana and heard people talking loudly about smoking and whether smoking would set off the smoke detector.  Police knocked on the door and made contact with our client and also saw several guests in the room.  Our client originally refused to allow police into the room, and the officers found him to be “argumentative and uncooperative.”  Police claimed our client ultimately consented to a search of his room.  Upon entry, police observed a broken lamp and found marijuana wrapped in a towel in the bathroom.  They arrested our client for drug possession, obstructing and damaging property.  At the first hearing, the newly-hired Assistant District Attorney refused to discuss the merits of the case.  Instead, he made an offer to dismiss a citation also issued to our client for smoking in a hotel room if our client entered a plea to the other three charges.  Our attorney flatly rejected the offer.  At the final hearing before trial, our attorney met with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to handle the trial.  He asked her a simple question.  How do you plan to prove any of this?  Although less than enthusiastic to talk with law enforcement, our client had not lied to police.  Therefore, he had not obstructed the investigation in any way.  There were many people in the room, how was the ADA going to prove it was our client’s marijuana in the bathroom?   Finally, how was the ADA going to show the lamp was intentionally damaged, let alone who damaged it?  After several minutes of silence, the prosecutor responded.  “You’re right,” she said. “I’ll dismiss it all.”