People v. Horge – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In People v. Horge (80 AD3d 1074, 915 NYS2d 757 [3d Dept 2011]), the defendant was initially stopped for a traffic infraction, at which point the "Trooper then approached the open window of the vehicle and, from his past training and experience, he recognized the smell of burning marihuana" (Horge, 80 AD3d at 1074).

While the Court initially seems to say that this alone was sufficient to give probable cause to search the entire vehicle, including the trunk, the Court went on to note that "the Trooper's detection of marihuana smoke was buttressed here by the fact that he momentarily went to his patrol car after detecting the marihuana odor and, upon his return, found that defendant had placed new air fresheners in the car and appeared to be attempting to destroy his cell phone" (id. at 1075).