State v. P.C.; 562011CF001085
Arresting Agency: St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office
Case Summary: Our client was the passenger in a vehicle that was being specifically targeted by the Sheriff’s Office. The detective who took such a special interest in the case even got a court ordered GPS device attached to this particular vehicle. Our client was not mentioned in this order, but the driver of the vehicle was the official target of the investigation. After monitoring the vehicle travel to broward county and back to fort pierce, the detective pulled the vehicle over (for “speeding”) at a parking lot of a gas station/convenience store. When our client got out of the vehicle and attempted to walk toward the convenience store to use the restroom, the detective ordered him to stop and stay. He then started to pat down our client and reached into his pocket. After reaching into his pocket and feeling what he knew was not a weapon, he got his K-9 dog into the act by having it alert on our client’s pocket. You know what happens next — an ounce of cocaine is found inside our client’s pocket. We broke down every move that the detective made and researched the applicable law that might afford our client some much needed relief from the potential 15 year sentence he was facing, along with a MANDATORY MINIMUM of 3 years in prison. So we did what we do in every case where a potential 4th amendment issue presents itself — we found and read every case in the country that was on point with our facts. We then narrowed our arguments down to the ones most likely to succeed in the courtroom and put them on paper in a motion to suppress. We filed the motion and set it for a one hour hearing. On the morning that the motion was to be heard by the Court, the prosecutor called our office to inform us that she had read our motion.
Result: Case dropped.
Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties