|Search Parked Car|
Search Parked Car | DUI Lawyer and Hillsborough County Florida Criminal Defense Attorney / expert notes a recent Search and Seizure ruling where the court found a illegal Seizure happened when a police officer told the defendant to turn off his car engine. The cop saw the defendant asleep in a parked car, motor running, during early morning hours, in a shopping mall parking lot. Court found there was no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or specific concern for officer safety or the health and safety of defendant or others. The trial court denied a Motion to Suppress. The appeals court tossed the evidence as fruit of an illegal seizure. The complete opinion is here for free download.
Search and Seizure | Parked Car | Opinion Excerpts
“On cross-examination, Officer Horn testified that when he approached the defendant in the parking lot, he was not responding to any calls relating to criminal activity, drug transactions, or violence. He acknowledged that he did not observe the defendant doing anything illegal and that he did not know about the defendant’s suspended license until after he ran the NCIC check. The officer also said that he did not see any signs that the defendant was impaired; his speech was not slurred and he did not smell of alcohol.”
“Based on Popple v. State, 626 So. 2d 185 (Fla. 1993), we hold that the officer’s direction that defendant turn off his car engine constituted a seizure, without the requisite reasonable suspicion, and reverse the order denying the motion to suppress.”
“In Popple, the Florida Supreme Court held that an officer’s request that an occupant of a parked car step out of his vehicle was a “seizure” of the occupant requiring reasonable suspicion.”