George Hotz may be best known as the guy that was sued by Sony for jailbreaking the PS3 and for jailbreaking the iPhone, but last week he was charged with a felony for something that didn't involve Electronic devices and hacking.
Things have been tame for Hotz since he settled with Sony and settled in to a job at Facebook, but last week while on his way to South by South West, Geohot was arrested for possession of Marijuana (according to Above the Law). Geohot went to the Texas event with some friends to give a talk there called "the Final Frontier of Reverse Engineering."
They decided to travel through border control in Sierra Blanca. It was there that police officers with dogs decided that they needed to search the vehicle because one of the canines barked at the car.
The search produced a 1/4oz of marijuana in the glove compartment and a further 1/8oz forming part of “chocolate edibles.” Hotz apparently has a medical marijuana license in California, but the local sheriff decided to count the entire weight of the chocolate as being marijuana, making it seem as if Hotz was carrying $800 worth of drugs rather than just $15. That amount was enough to earn him a felony charge and $1,500 bail.
Hotz made it to his talk anyway. It doesn't take a civil rights lawyer to figure out that the police probably didn't have probable cause to conduct the search in the first place because they really didn’t have a reason to stop him. Police can't just search your vehicle because they feel like it. What I wonder is if police asked Hotz or whoever owned the vehicle if he or she would consent to a search. If that person refused police had no right to search the vehicle. If they consented then they gave up their Fourth Amendment right at that point.
You can read more about it at Above the Law.