Georgia DUI Cases of Note

  

Heard v State – consent to search is no good where reason for stop is wrong

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Georgia license plateHeard v. State, A13A0853, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Decided: November 22, 2013.  James Heard was stopped by police in Franklin County because the Police Captain had told the Officer that a vehicle matching his car’s description had been involved in drug activity and because no tag validation sticker was visible. It turned out that the validation sticker was on the wrong side of the license plate and initially unseen by the Officer. Heard’s driver’s license was valid and he had no warrants so Heard was free to leave. However, the Officer asked him why he was so nervous and got him out of the car. After initially refusing to consent to a search of his vehicle he agreed and crack cocaine was found.

Once the license has been run, identity checked, warrants check and processing of original traffic violation have been completed, an officer cannot continue a detention without articulable suspicion. If an officer continues to hold an individual after the conclusion of the traffic stop and interrogates him or seeks consent to search without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officer has exceeded the scope of a permissible investigation of the initial traffic stop and the search is illegal.

The officer in this case had no information about the reliability of the lookout information provided to the police captain or how timeliness of the information. There was only a general description of the vehicle.

Nervousness is not a legal basis for an investigative detention. Even when combined with the lookout information and nervousness, the Court of Appeals found that there were not circumstances sufficient to create a reasonable suspicion that Heard was involved in criminal activity other than the suspected traffic violation.  Therefore, the search was illegal and the drugs were suppressed.

-Author: George C. Creal, Jr.



Tags

 


Archive





                                                           


    George C. Creal, Jr. is a trial lawyer with 18 years of courtroom experience. He is one of only 6 Metro DUI lawyers with both an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale.com and a 10.0/10.0 Superb rating on Avvo.com.  With over 100 not guilty jury verdicts under his belt, George knows how to convince a jury that the State has not proven his client guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.
    George Creal Attorney Profile










    The National Trial Lawyers

     

    READ SUCCESS STORIES ON FACEBOOK FAN PAGE BELOW

       

     

    No legal advice should be obtained from the web site alone. George C. Creal, Jr., P.C. is Georgia Professional Corporation authorized to practice law in the State of Georgia only and all information contained in this web site is intended for use for DUI arrests occurring in the State of Georgia. Individuals with DUI from outside the State of Georgia should contact a licensed attorney in the state of occurrence of their DUI. Copyright © 2014 George C. Creal, Jr. P.C.
    Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Checker


     | DUI Alpharetta   |   DUI Athens   |   DUI Atlanta   | DUI Bibb County   


       DUI Conyers    |     DUI Coweta County   |   DUI Decatur   |   DUI DeKalb County 

     DUI Doraville   |   DUI Douglas   |   DUI Douglasville   |   DUI Duluth 







    Atlanta Office Address: 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave.,  N.E., Unit 190, Atlanta, GA 30312 | Phone: (404) 491-8712

    In the words of Mark Twain, "Continuous Improvement is better than delayed perfection." If you find errors or deadlinks please email us at firm@georgialawyer.com, we strive to do better.