Hearing on Motion to Suppress Wins Felony Drug Case


State vs. R.B.; Case No. 562021CF002815 (St. Lucie County)


Drug and Narcotics Charges

Arresting Agency

Fort Pierce Police Department


Charges Dropped

Our client was pulled over in Fort Pierce for "Avoiding a Traffic Signal or Device." The police tried to claim that by pulling into the parking lot of a fast food restaurant and then choosing not to stay, he violated this statute. We argued that it's perfectly legal to pull into the parking lot of an open business and then change your mind about staying. After the police pulled our client over, illegally, of course, they then proceeded to put off writing him a citation for the infraction so they could call in the K9 dog to "alert" (they always do) on our client's vehicle. However, what these officers didn't realize (or perhaps they just didn't care because they thought they would get away with it) is that under United States Supreme Court precedent, U.S. v. Rodriguez, police officers are not lawfully allowed to delay the mission of the traffic stop (here that would have been writing the citation for avoiding the red light) in order to conduct an investigation that they don't have reasonable suspicion to conduct.  Here, they didn't have anything other than a hunch that our client possessed illegal narcotics (all because he left the parking lot of a low-budget motel here in Fort Pierce, a clear act of discrimination and illegal guesswork by the Fort Pierce Police Department).  So we filed our motion, which you can read below, asked for a hearing and faced off against the State for a 2 + hour hearing.  We cross-examined the police officers about every detail, forcing them to admit that this entire charade of theirs was based on nothing but conjecture. The Judge ruled on the spot, as opposed to thinking it over, saying quote: "In all my years on the bench I have never seen a more obvious Motion to Suppress that needed granting than this one". So yeah, Motion Granted. He then went further and reinstated our client's bond, which had been previously revoked because of a new arrest that took place while he was out on bond on this matter. This essentially freed him on the spot. The State was soon thereafter forced to drop the case because they had no more evidence to put in front of a jury.
Motion to Suppress
Nolle Prosequi