State vs. D.E.; Case No. 562021CF000144 (St. Lucie County)
Drug and Narcotics Charges
Fort Pierce Police Department
Our client was pulled over by the Fort Pierce Police for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. Once the officer arrived at the driver's side door, he asked if he could search the vehicle. Our client wisely said "no you can't". This is a key moment, because if you give the police consent to search, then the evidence they find inside the vehicle becomes admissible against you at your trial. But if you deny the officer consent to search, you now have a fighting chance that they will make a mistake and conduct the search without the required probable cause that they need to legally search your vehicle. In this case, they called the K9 dog to do a sniff around the vehicle. But what the officers didn't know is that they cannot delay a traffic stop for purposes of a K9 dog's arrival. That's exactly what happened here. We filed a motion to suppress (throw out) the evidence of methamphetamine that was found, and after reading our motion, the prosecutor filed a 'Nolle Prosequi' in the case, dismissing the charges. Lots of lessons to be learned here, but the most important one is make sure you hire the right criminal defense lawyer -- one that knows the law and knows how to articulate it.