I'm gearing up for a motion to suppress hearing on a marijuana case. The arresting officer recognized the def. from a previous encounter 3 months prior and initiated a stop based on his personal knowledge that the def. did not possess a DL (only has ID). During the stop the officer noticed a crack pipe in plain site and made an arrest on that. Subsequently, during the search of def. incident to arrest about 3 oz. of pot was found.
Opposing council is arguing that b/c the officer relied only on his personal knowledge (which could have potentially been "outdated") and did not run a license check prior to initiating the stop, there was no reasonable suspicion for the stop.
Am I missing something here? The officer clearly had an articulable basis for the stop and I would think that the low threshold was easily met.
I'm putting in the time on this one though, b/c it looks like this joker is going to try to use a medical necessity defense on the pot (seizures). I'm well prepared for that bag of worms and I want to make sure to hammer him.
Here are some cases that might be worth looking at:
State v. Spillner, 173 P.3d 498, 509-10 (Hawai‘i,2007) (collecting cases addressing when personal knowledge of suspension is too stale to amount to reasonable suspicion)
State v. Richardson, 2007 WL 1087386 at *2-3, 732 N.W.2d 864 (Wis.App. 2007) (Table) (no reasonable suspicion where officer could not recall how long ago he learned that defendant's license was suspended).
U.S. v. Fields, 2006 WL 1049654 at *3, 176 Fed.Appx. 327 (3d. Cir. 2006) (stop proper where officer was told one month before stop that there was a warrant for defendant).
State v. Leyva, 599 So.2d 691, 693 (Fla.App. 1992) (four to five week old knowledge of suspension was not too stale to provide reasonable suspicion)
Maybe a staleness problem.
We train our officers to double check on no DL or suspended DLs on known bad guys. When was the last time your officer checked on the state of the defendant's DL.
I'd suggest doing a westlaw search on staleness. I'm confident there are Texas cases out there on this issue.
Maybe my brain is tired, but I seem to remember that the Transportation Code 521.025(2)(b) gives authority to stop ANY driver to ascertain whether or not he/she has a valid DL.
Are there cases extant that limit this authority?
"The question remains, however, whether in the service of these important ends the discretionary spot check is a sufficiently productive mechanism to justify the intrusion upon Fourth Amendment interests which such stops entail. On the record before us, that question must be answered in the negative. Given the alternative mechanisms available, both those in use and those that might be adopted, we are unconvinced that the incremental contribution to highway safety of the random spot check justifies the practice under the Fourth Amendment."
Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 659, 99 S.Ct. 1391, 1399 (1979).
Thanks for the input.
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.