Say someone who isn't me (SWIM for short) asks someone they do not know if they would like to buy marijuana. The unknown person tells SWIM they do not want any marijuana. The unknown person then proceeds to tell the local police that someone matching SWIM's physical description attempted to sell them marijuana.
When stopped by the police near the area SWIM had first approached the unknown person, SWIM agrees to have his person and belongings searched, and the police find no marijuana or any other illegal drugs/contraband. Do the police have the right to press charges for Intent to distribute, or any other charge, for that matter, if SWIM was not in possession?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If the police had probable cause that at some point SWIM had possessed or sold or purchased on some other date or time, then they can arrest SWIM. The person does not have to be in possession at that time. However, if they are basing an arrest on the say so of another person, it must be sufficiently reliable to provide enough probable cause to arrest.
Clearly not enough evidence for a successful prosecution in your fact pattern. With that said, Police need only "probable cause" to make an arrest, and it is one of the lowest legal standards...
Tampa Criminal Lawyer
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