|Search Seizure Automobile|
Weapons Found in Car Suppressed
“movements towards the glove box did not justify a search based on officer safety”
Florida Defense Attorney just received news of a Automobile Search and Seizure case where the defendant fled from police. The vehicle came to rest. The cop watched the defendant reaching towards the dashboard on the passenger side. Police ordered the defendant to show his hands and step out of the car.
The suspect was handcuffed the cops found no weapons on him. Other officers took custody of the defendant. The defendant was separated from his car, in handcuffs, under the supervision of backup officers. The traffic stop cop then seized defendant’s car keys, unlocked the glove box, and found a firearm. The Second District Court ruled that the defendant’s furtive movements towards the glove box did not justify a search based on officer safety. The court held that the law enforcement officer (LEO) could not have reasonably believed that he would find evidence of the defendant s fleeing and eluding in the glove box. Under Arizona v. Gant, the firearm must be suppressed. The case is attached and the firearm statute is below.
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790.23 Felons and delinquents; possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices unlawful.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:
(a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;
(b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
(c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;
(d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
(e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.
Source: 35 Fla. L. Weekly D533b (Fla. 2d DCA March 5, 2010) Special Thanks to Rocky Brancato, Associate Attorney Office of the Public Defender