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David Seman: Advocating in Court to End Unlawful Marijuana Arrests

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Published on Jun 13, 2012

Take Action: http://bit.ly/nyarrests

David Seman is a Legal Aid Attorney in NYC. In Winter 2011, David successfully defended a young man of color who was falsely arrested and charged with marijuana possession in public view. Police make these arrests by exploiting a "loophole" in the law. Oftentimes, the police demand that people -- usually young people of color -- empty their pockets, and when they do, the violation for marijuana possession turns into an arrestable misdemeanor for marijuana in public view. In this case, the judge found that the arresting police officer was inaccurate in his account and found the defendant, not guilty. Although many people arrested for marijuana possession are charged with crimes they did not commit, most do not fight their charges in court because of the laborious process of navigating the criminal justice system.

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