Thursday, December 25, 2014

Articulable suspicion to search the vehicle | Douglas county criminal lawyer

“1997)—Painter v. State, 227 Ga. App. 875, 490 S.E.2d 544.
The police were staking out a restaurant and saw the defendant park in the lot, stay in her car for several minutes, then go in the restaurant for three minutes and then return to her car. Shortly thereafter, a truck pulled up next to the defendant’s car and the defendant got out of her car and entered the truck, which then drove off. The officer learned that the defendant was someone who was suspected of using and selling drugs. These facts did not amount to an articulable suspicion justifying the stop of the truck. Stopping the truck and bringing a drug dog to smell the outside of the vehicle was an illegal detention and required that the evidence from a subsequent search of the vehicle.
“1995)—State v. Moon, 217 Ga. App. 790, 459 S.E.2d 441.
The police received a tip that two people in a car at a gas station were involved in a drug transaction. There was no prediction of future activity. This tip, alone, did not provide sufficient information to justify a Terry-stop and the trial court properly suppressed the evidence.
(1994)—State v. Fowler, 215 Ga. App. 524, 451 S.E.2d 124.
The police staked out a convenience store where they believed drugs were being distributed in the parking lot. They observed two defendants drive up in one car and make a phone call. Shortly thereafter, a third defendant drove to the parking lot and one of the first two participants entered the third defendant’s car. The police then observed “back and forth movements” among the individuals in the car. When the cars left, the police stopped the vehicles and searched them, finding cocaine. The information known to the police did not rise to the level of an articulable suspicion and the stop was therefore unlawful. The trial court correctly granted the motion to suppress. Contact a Douglas county criminal defense lawyer for help with your case.

“2003)—Tiller v. State, 261 Ga. App. 363, 582 S.E.2d 536.
The police pulled over a car being driven by Colten because the license plate was obscured. Colten did not have a driver’s license, but his mother brought it to the scene. Tiller was a passenger in the vehicle. The police had received information that Colten was a drug dealer. The information was not from a source known to be reliable, and did not furnish a basis for detaining Colten, or, for that matter, Tiller. While Colten and Tiller were being detained, a drug dog was summoned and it alerted to the car. A search of Tiller’s jacket in the car revealed a gun. Tiller had standing to contest the detention; his identification documents were being held by the police and the detention of the driver deprived him of his means of transportation. His detention was illegal and the search of his jacket in the car was the fruit of that illegal detention.”

“2002)—Duke v. State, 257 Ga. App. 609, 571 S.E.2d 414.
A sheriff’s deputy testified that he pulled the defendant over because there was a radio communication that the driver of the vehicle was suspected of drug activity. At the suppression hearing, no further evidence was offered as to why the vehicle was stopped, or the basis for the suspicion. The officer was entitled to rely on what he was told over the radio, but the state must still support the basis for the stop at the suppression hearing by proving what the collective knowledge of the police was at that time. The stop was illegal and the evidence should have been suppressed.”

“1999)—State v. Kwiatkowski, 238 Ga. App. 390, 519 S.E.2d 43.
The police approached the defendants in a parking lot where they were parked. The defendants acted nervous and claimed to be lost. They had out-of-state drivers’ licenses and an out-of-state car. They refused to consent to a search of the car. This did not amount to an articulable suspicion, and detaining the defendants until a drug dog arrived was impermissible. The fact that the police never told the defendants they were not free to leave did not mean they were not detained, because there were three police cars surrounding the defendants’ car and the officers held the defendants’ drivers’ licenses. Also, even after the police were denied consent to search the car, they did not tell the defendants they were free to leave.

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Bad informant information leading to suppressed evidence | Paulding county criminal defense lawyer

“2006)—Baker v. State, 277 Ga. App. 520, 627 S.E.2d 145.
The police received a tip from a confidential informant (he was not shown to be reliable) that a man in a black or green jeep or truck at a particular Wendy’s would be involved in a drug deal “in the near future.” The police went to the scene and observed the defendant, Baker, in a black pickup truck. He drove around a nearby gas station a couple times; then drove to another restaurant and pulled alongside another pickup truck. Baker then drove away. The police pulled him over and asked for his license which was determined to be suspended. The court of appeals held that there was no basis for the stop of Baker and the evidence that was thereafter acquired (through a consent search) was tainted by the illegal stop. After arresting Baker, the police asked if he had any more drugs at his house and he acknowledged that he might have some marijuana.” “The police went to the house and confronted the second defendant, Ms. Drescher. She was asked for consent to search her house and her purse. She was arrested based on drugs found in the house and in her purse. The court of appeals held that this evidence, too, must be suppressed, based on the illegal detention of Baker: “Drescher’s consent was the product of the illegal detention [of Baker], and the taint of the unreasonable stop was not sufficiently attenuated.”

“2004)—State v. Davenport, 268 Ga. App. 704, 603 S.E.2d 324.
The police arrested a man who promptly agreed to set up another person. The arrestee made a call to arrange a delivery and told the police that the supplier would be driving a white car and would come from a certain apartment. The police did not know to whom the arrestee made the call. The police were at the designated apartment and did not see anybody actually leave that apartment, but saw two people come from around the corner and get into a white car. That car was stopped and the driver was seen kicking a bag under the car. The bag contained cocaine. The trial court suppressed the evidence and the court of appeals affirmed. First, the information from the arrestee amounted to a tip, not informant information, because the arrestee was not previously known to the police and had provided no reliable information in the past. Second, the information provided to the police (the location of the source’s apartment and “the color of the car) were innocent details which did not support the stop. Third, the stop of the vehicle was not supported by articulable suspicion.”
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Reliability of line-ups | Douglas County Criminal lawyer

“The admission of expert testimony on the reliability of eyewitness testimony is left to the discretion of the trial court. Where eyewitness identification of the defendant is the key element of the state’s case and there is no substantial corroboration of that identification by other evidence, trial courts may not exclude expert testimony without carefully weighing whether the evidence would assist the jury in assessing the reliability of the eyewitness testimony.”
“Grabowski v. State, 234 Ga. App. 222, 507 S.E.2d 472.
The victim identified a van being driven by the perpetrator of an attempted burglary (she only saw the vehicle, not the perpetrator). The police arrested the defendant and brought the victim to the scene of the arrest to determine if she could identify the van, which she did. The defense argued that this identification should be excluded on the basis that it amounted to a “show-up” that was unreliable.  Jurisprudence applying to the show-up of people should not apply to inanimate objects.
“1997)—Campbell v. State, 228 Ga. App. 258, 491 S.E.2d 477.
The audiotape voice lineup that was used in this case was not impermissibly suggestive. The defendant made a certain statement during his interrogation and then the State obtained five similar voice exemplars from which the victim chose the defendant’s voice.
(1993)—Wade v. State, 208 Ga. App. 700, 431 S.E.2d 398.
A police officer was permitted to testify that an eyewitness to the armed robbery chose the defendant’s photograph from a photo spread. The eyewitness was not present at trial. This was permissible testimony: A law enforcement officer is permitted to testify to a vocal fact of identification witnessed by himself without its being subject to a hearsay objection.
(1981)—Pope v. State, 157 Ga. App. 154, 276 S.E.2d 666.
The trial court committed reversible error in failing to instruct the jury on the law relating to fingerprint evidence. Instructions on circumstantial evidence and expert testimony are not an adequate substitute.”