State v. L.F.; Case No: 562020CF001402 (St. Lucie County)
Drug and Narcotics Charges
Fort Pierce Police Department
Our client was observed by law enforcement drinking from a glass bottle while sitting in his vehicle on private property. The Fort Pierce Police Department officer stated he approached our client because, from his “training and experience, he found this type of bottle to be an alcoholic beverage.” After contact with our client, the officer stated he was acting nervous. The officer subjected our client to a pat-down search based on his alleged nervous actions. The officer peered inside the truck and stated that he observed a small, green plastic baggie with a white rock-like substance sitting on the driver's seat in plain view. The officer stated he then asked for consent to search the vehicle. Consent was given and the vehicle was searched. According to the law enforcement officer, our client admitted that the substance found inside his truck was crack cocaine and claimed ownership of it. After conducting a full investigation, taking depositions, and requesting body-worn camera footage, we discovered our client was the victim of an illegal search and seizure. Our client was sipping from an open bottle inside the privacy of his own truck while parked on private property. Therefore there was no violation of any ordinance or the open container law as his vehicle was not parked on a public road. The police trespassed on private property without justification. All the evidence thereafter is “fruit of the poisonous tree.” We filed a Motion to Suppress, and the charges were dropped.