The best way to start a week is with a win in court on Monday, which happened for Eric Crawford and his client P.D. in the Gwinnett County State Court.
Background: P.D. pulled his vehicle into a shopping center around midnight on December 02, 2010. He was waiting to meet a friend so he could follow that friend back to his house, as he was unfamiliar with the area. Two police officers approach, and P.D. gets out of his car and throws his hands up, smiling, saying “I didn’t do it!” The officers, who apparently left their standard issue sense of humor back at the station, ordered him back into his car. The encounter eventually leads to the officers finding a bag of marijuana outside P.D.’s car, tackling him to the ground, and arresting him on felony charges.
The first order of business was to get the felony drug charge dismissed, which the DA’s office did on June 8, 2011. When the case was formally charged in State Court, I filed a motion to suppress, alleging that the police illegally detained and searched P.D. from the initial encounter.
On April 9, 2012, a hearing on the motion was held before Judge Iannazzone. After hearing evidence from the two officers and arguments from counsel for the State and the accused, the judge found that when the police ordered P.D. back into the car he was illegally detained, moving this from a consensual police-citizen encounter to a detention which required a reasonable, articulable suspicion, something the police officer did not and could not articulate.
This is a great victory for P.D., who has since moved to another state and has a great job.
-Eric C. Crawford
Attorney at Law