Colts Player and Former Hurricane Arrested in Fort Myers for Possession of Marijuana

June 15, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

As a south Florida drug possession criminal defense lawyer, I was disappointed to read about another NFL player arrested in our state for offseason misbehavior. Javarris James, a running back for the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested in Fort Myers for possession of 0.4 gram of marijuana. James, an Immokalee native, is known in Florida as a player for the Miami Hurricanes and a star at Immokalee High School. He is also the cousin of Colts and Hurricanes alum Edgerrin James. According to the Naples Daily News, the younger James, 23, was released an hour after his booking on a bond of $1,000. He is scheduled to appear in court June 28 to face the misdemeanor charge.

The Naples paper reported that James was originally pulled over by Fort Myers police “over concerns about the level of tint in his windows.” When they opened the car, police said, they smelled marijuana and conducted a search. The police report said they eventually found pieces of marijuana on the floor of the car between the center console and the passenger seat. If convicted of marijuana possession less than 20 grams, he faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Like all NFL players, James is currently locked out of offseason training or personnel moves, thanks to a dispute between team owners and their players. According to the newspaper, some Colts players are meeting for private workouts — which might make drug use inadvisable — but it wasn’t clear whether James was among them.

As a Miami-Dade drug crimes defense attorney, I’d like to point out that the crime James is accused of is very, very minor. The marijuana he’s accused of possessing is 0.4 grams, which is about 0.014 ounces. To find that little of the drug, the police must have had to be very thorough in their search. In fact, the tiny amount of the drug, and the minor window-tinting “concerns” that triggered the traffic stop, make me wonder whether police were entirely honest when they said they searched the car because they smelled marijuana. Sadly, some police officers still react with suspicion when they see a young African American man driving an expensive car. As a Fort Lauderdale drug crimes defense lawyer, I don’t doubt that James can afford an experienced attorney, and I hope that lawyer keeps these issues in mind when responding to the charges.

Even if you’re not an NFL running back, you can fight criminal charges against you based on illegally obtained evidence or other flawed police work. To learn more, call Seltzer Law, P.A., for a free, confidential case evaluation. You can reach us 24 hours a day and seven days a week at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) or send us an email anytime.