Thursday, February 02, 2012
Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court posts one in early evening
Notice of posting just tweeted by Court's press office.
In Michael B. Adams v. State of Indiana, a 10-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:
The question here is whether an automobile passenger riding down the highway with a jar of marijuana between his legs can be found to have “used the vehicle” in committing the offense of possessing marijuana. We conclude that he can. * * *
When viewed in the light most favorable to the judgment, the evidence shows that Adams possessed a jar of marijuana by keeping the jar on the floorboard in front of him while he sat in the passenger seat. As a result, this is not a situation in which a defendant merely happened to possess a small bag of marijuana in his pocket without making any direct use of the vehicle to do so. Indeed, the trial court could well have found that Adams used the floorboard of the front well to possess the jar so Trooper Caddell would not catch him holding it in his hands when Trooper Caddell came to the window.
As a result, we think the court properly ordered Adams’s driver’s license, registration, and ability to register other vehicles suspended, as the statute left the court no discretion in the matter.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 2, 2012 06:27 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions