DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients’ cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.
This week I appeared in court for a client who was arrested for DUI during the wee hours of New Years Day. Here are the basic facts: After having a minor fender bender, the police came to the scene to investigate. The first officer on the scene smelled the odor of alcohol on my client’s breath and noticed signs of possible impairment. Other officers were summoned to the scene and administered field sobriety exercises, after which my client was arrested.
At the motion to suppress hearing (a motion to suppress is a legal pleading that asks the judge to exclude evidence that was not lawfully obtained), the initial officer who detained my client did not appear. The judge reset the matter for this week and again the 1st officer on the scene who detained my client for the DUI cop didn’t show. The Florida Supreme Court has recently held:
that the fellow officer rule does not allow an officer who does not have firsthand knowledge of the traffic stop and was not involved in the investigation at that time to testify as to hearsay regarding what the initial officer who conducted the stop told him or her for the purpose of proving a violation of the traffic law so as to establish the validity of the initial stop.
As a result of challenging the evidence by filing a motion to suppress (which we do in every single case) the client’s case was won. All of the evidence obtained by the arresting officer was tossed out of court because the arresting officer wasn’t personally involved in the traffic stop. Needless to say, the client is estatic and we are thrilled to have one more happy and satisfied client.
Motion to Suppress – GRANTED!