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Prostitution Sting Defense Lawyer

Motion to suppress granted after game of “chicken” with state

State v. B.M.; Case No. 2009-MM-1569(St Lucie County)

Arresting Agency: St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office

Case Summary: “Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was cruising along on a flat tire with its hazard lights activated. The police conducted a traffic stop and the officer detected an odor of alcohol on the driver. The officer noticed our client “moving about the front passenger area” and removed him from the vehicle. The officer then conducted a “frisk” of our client for his safety. The officer said he felt a “baggie” of marijuana and removed it from our client’s pocket. Our client was handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail. We prepared and filed a Motion to Suppress, arguing that the pat-down frisk of our client was illegal. We set the motion for a hearing. While waiting for our cases to be called the prosecutor approached us and made us an offer for drug court. We politely refused the offer. Once our case was finally called, the prosecutor asked for a continuance because the arresting officer didn’t show up for the hearing. The defense objected to the continuance and pointed out that the defense filed it’s “notice of hearing” a month previous to the date of the hearing. Next the prosecutor suggested that the court take “judicial notice” of the arrest affidavit and treat it as the state’s presentation. Again, the defense objected and pointed out that Florida law requires the prosecution to meet it’s burden with evidence at a motion to suppress that involves a warrantless search. Finally, in what was potentially a last ditch effort to sneak one past us, the State agreed to drop the case. At first glance, you might be thinking that sounds great. But under Florida law, the State can refile charges after they drop them, which could have given the State another bite at the apple. In response to the State’s announcement that they would be dropping the charges, the defense insisted on a ruling from the Judge.”

Result: “Motion to Suppress was granted and all charges were dropped.”
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Brian Mallonee is a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties