Case Study - No Reason For The Stop

I had a case where my client (let's call him Joe) had been stopped by a police officer on a street fairly late at night behind a closed business. Because of way in which the police stopped, tested Joe for DUI, and arrested him, I filed several motions. I challenged the stop, roadsides, and arrest. I filed a motion to suppress the preliminary screening test, a motion to suppress statements and a motion to suppress the field sobriety tests.

I also filed a motion to suppress all the evidence.

At the pre-trial hearing for consideration of my motions, the police officer admitted during questioning by the District Attorney that "I didn't know if he (Joe) had committed a crime, was about to commit a crime or what the circumstances were."

After stopping him he approached my client's car and testified that "I did notice an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming out his breath . . . ."

But I doubted the stop was even legal to begin with.

So, during my questioning of the officer I first determined that Joe was only going about 10 miles per hour.

And then it went on as follows:

In essence, I got the officer to tell me that he was strictly working on a hunch.

The end result was that the District Attorney agreed with me that the evidence should be suppressed because the officer who stopped Joe had no reasonable suspicion to stop him to begin with. Since there was no reasonable cause to stop him, everything that happened after the stop was thrown out.

This left the DA with no case, and at the next hearing the case was dropped entirely.

Before I go any further, let me tell you that I'm not promising that I can do the same in your case. That would be unethical. Every situation is different.

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