Todd Nye achieved another victory for the Constitution when he had evidence illegally seized by the Michigan State Police suppressed. As a result, the case against his client was dismissed.

Mr. Nye’s client was traveling through the Straits of Mackinac and was profiled by the Michigan State Police. The Michigan State Police like to target commercial vehicles, especially contractor and other service vehicles, because frankly, they intend to have young men who might have a beer or a joint.

In this particular case, the police officer made the traffic stop based upon a “loose tailpipe.” After detaining the occupants of the vehicle for an unreasonable amount of time, the officer conducted a second investigation unrelated to the traffic stop, and proceeded to search the vehicle and find an illegal controlled substance (a little bit of marijuana, held by a licensed medical marijuana card holder, which was about 2 ounces of wax). Since the marijuana was in the “wrong form” under Michigan law as it is currently interpreted, the occupant was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Attorney Nye filed a motion to suppress and dismiss. There were two arguments for the purpose of the motion. First, the police officer had no lawful basis to even make the traffic stop. Therefore, any evidence seized as a result of the traffic stop was illegally seized.

Secondly, Attorney Nye argued that the police officer had unreasonably extended the duration of the traffic stop, because he had no basis to continue his investigation and conduct a search.

After an evidentiary hearing before a district court judge where the Michigan State Trooper testified, the court found that the trooper had no lawful basis to stop the automobile. First, there was a very specific statute section regarding exhaust systems, and the statute cannot be construed to allow a police officer to stop a motorist for a “loose tailpipe” unless it presents a risk of danger to the public. Here, the district court judge was able to review the dash-cam video of the police officer, and it was clear that the tailpipe was not loose to any significant degree.

Consequently, the illegally obtained evidence was suppressed and the case was dismissed by the court.
Any time a traffic stop results in an arrest, it is important that the entire arrest and any documentation or video related to that arrest be reviewed for constitutional violations. Police officers frequently violate constitutional rights, so aggressive defense of a criminal charge may result in a dismissal.

Call Nye & Associates for a Free Consultation regarding your criminal matter.

 

Nye & Associates specialize in Criminal Defense cases in Roscommon County, Crawford County, Saginaw County, and the surrounding area.

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