People v. Bland

In People v. Bland, 884 P.2d 312 (Colo. 1994), the defendant was arrested for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Pursuant to the applicable statute, the officer was required to issue the defendant a summons to appear in court, but could not subject him to a full custodial arrest. Incident to the defendant's arrest, the officer conducted a full search of defendant's person and discovered a bag of cocaine taped to his leg. The trial court suppressed the cocaine evidence, but on appeal, the supreme court reversed the trial court's suppression of the cocaine evidence. In so doing, the court stated that, in circumstances involving a non-custodial arrest for possession of marijuana, an officer may conduct a search of the defendant for weapons or for further evidence of marijuana possession. The court recognized that the scope of a search for marijuana possession is coextensive with a full custodial search and, thus, may include a suspect's clothing. People v. Bland, supra.