Motion to Suppress 110 Bags of Heroin: Allowed - All Charges Dismissed
The police were parked and observing traffic. They observed a motor vehicle allegedly traveling without headlights illuminated and with a cracked windshield. As a result, the police activated their overhead blue lights and conducted a motor vehicle stop. Our client had a suspended license, and the police did a search incident to arrest. The police used the key to the motor vehicle to open the glove compartment and found 110 bags of suspected heroin. The police seized the drugs and charged our client.
Attorney Ellison hired an investigator to take photos of the alleged crack in the windshield and confirm when sunset was on the day in question. In addition, Attorney Ellison looked up the traffic laws for when your headlights needs to be on. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 7 states that headlights have to be on "from one half an hour after sunset to one half an hour before sunrise, and during any other period when visibility is reduced by atmospheric conditions so as to render dangerous further operation without lights being displayed." At a Motion to Suppress hearing, we were able to show that sunset had not occurred yet, which meant the driver did not have to have his lights on.
Our investigator testified that he could not see the crack in the windshield until he was standing over the motor vehicle. In addition, we argued that the crack in the windshield was not a traffic violation. The judge found, on the record, that he did not believe the police could see the crack in the windshield.
The judge ruled that there was no legitimate reason for the motor vehicle stop. Therefore, he ruled the motor vehicle stop to be unconstitutional and allowed our Motion to Suppress evidence. As a result, the Government was precluded from using any evidence found after the motor vehicle stop at trial. All of the charges were dismissed.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense