On February 13, 2015, the Fifth District Court of Appeal decided the case of Oliver v. State, 2015 WL 585536 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015). In Oliver, the defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for an inoperable tag light. The stop itself was not challenged on appeal. After the stop, the officer, in an aggressive manner, ordered the defendant to “keeps his hands on the f***ing dashboard.” After a canine sniff alerted the officers to the presence of drugs in the car, the officers searched the defendant and found marijuana and a firearm on his person.
The court reasoned that under the circumstances, a reasonable person would not believe that he was free to leave. The court found that factors such as the officer’s language and tone of voice were relevant in determining whether a seizure had occurred. Thus, the court held that the defendant was seized for Fourth Amendment purposes prior to the search of his person. Accordingly, it reversed the trial court order denying the defendant’s motion to suppress.
If you have been arrested based on what you believe to be an illegal search and seizure, it is critical that you obtain strong, experienced legal representation to determine whether proper procedures were followed by the police at the time of your arrest and whether any of your constitutional rights were violated.
A misdemeanor or felony conviction can impact your life in many ways. It is the job of the Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys at Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio to prepare the most aggressive case possible for your defense. If you or someone you love is facing charges stemming from a search and seizure, you need to contact us immediately by calling us at 904-356-9661, by emailing us at [email protected] , or by visiting our website,www.sheppardwhite.com Our after-hours phone number is 904-233-2443. Do not delay in getting the help that is rightfully yours.