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0.199 2.5 hours after the stop

Charge Faced: DWI

Case Result: Case Dismissed

Michael was pulled over, as the Trooper claimed his license plate light was out. He was unsteady getting out of his car and leaned on it for balance.  He failed all sobriety tests.  The Trooper swore on an affidavit that the license plate light was out. He obtained a warrant to draw Mike’s blood.  The dash cam video from the police cruiser showed that Mike’s license plate light was on.  I took still frame pictures of the video showing the license plate light was on, and I personally inspected Mikes car to see how many lights were by the license plate. I hired an expert to review the video, and he also believed the license plate light was on.  The officer testified that he looked at the license plate light when he pulled Mike over, and it was out.  He did not.  My expert testified the light was clearly on.  The Judge said, on the video, it was clear that the officer only looked at the left rear taillight (not the license plate light). The Magistrate denied the motion to suppress, claiming he saw other violations on the video.  The Magistrate did not follow the law.  A police officer cannot arrest someone and then look at a dash cam video to see if there were other reasons to pull someone over.  The officer must know of the violation at the time the stop is made.  I re-urged my motion to suppress in front of the elected Judge.  Once she was able to review all the evidence along with the video, she called me and told me to be present with my client in court the next day.  When we arrived, she granted the motion to suppress and the DA dismissed the charges.

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