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.

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