Thursday, December 25, 2014

“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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