In Commonwealth v. Carkhuff, a case that was reported in the Wall Street Journal, Springfield Republican, Boston Globe, and other newspapers across the country, we argued that the State Trooper that pulled our client over did so illegally. On October 2, 2001 (shortly after 9/11) David Carkhuff was driving past the Cobble Mountain Reservoir. Unknown to him, the State Police had posted a trooper in the area of the reservoir to stop all traffic. The logic was that the reservoir was a possible terrorist target. Following his orders, he pulled Mr. Carkhuff over. After speaking with him, the trooper arrested Mr. Carkhuff for drunk driving. We successfully argued that the trooper’s stop of Mr. Carkhuff’s vehicle was without reasonable suspicion and that even if terrorism is a valid reason for a roadblock, the State Police did not follow roadblock requirements (such as public notice). The Commonwealth appealed the district court judge’s allowance of our Motion. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld the suppression order.
Client charged with possession of cocaine had his charges dropped after we successfully argued that the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop his client after his client entered a building in a high crime area, with a known drug user, and left after a short period of time. Even though the officer found cocaine when he searched the client, the judge found that the search was illegal.
Client charged with driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana subsequent offense. Police officer testified that he pulled the client’s vehicle over for speeding, arrested him for driving with a suspended license and subsequently found marijuana in his backpack. We had our client testify. The client testified that he knew the officer was traveling in traffic behind him for several miles and was not speeding. The judge credited the client’s testimony and found that the officer’s stop of the vehicle was illegal.
Client (a painter) charged with drunk driving second offense. Officer testified that he pulled the client over because he could not read the license plate due to paint partially covering one of the letters. We had our client bring the license plate into court. The officer agreed that the license plate was in the same condition as the night of the arrest. We walked to the farthest point of the courtroom from where the officer was testifying and asked the officer to estimate the distance (a license plate is required to be readable from 60 feet), the officer stated 100 feet. We then asked the officer to read the license plate to the judge, which he did without error. The judge found that the stop was illegal.
Below is just a sampling of some of Alekman DiTusa, LLC’s successes on Motions to Suppress:
Client charged with drunk driving had his charges dismissed after we successfully argued that even though the officer legally pulled his client over for having a broken license plate light, he should not have arrested the client for drunk driving after the client successfully completed two of the field sobriety tests.