RECENT DECISIONS ON MOTIONS TO SUPPRESS.
Commonwealth v. Client. The police stopped and searched client without a warrant after they saw him enter and, fewer than five minutes later, exit, a building at around 1:00 a.m. The warrantless search turned up a bag of marijuana, 10 pieces of crack cocaine, and $3,000 in cash. The client was charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute a Class B Substance (cocaine). Mr. Booker filed a motion to suppress all evidence that the police seized from the client. After a hearing, during which Mr. Booker questioned the police officer and detective involved in the client’s arrest, the COURT ALLOWED THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS. This meant that the District Attorney’s Office (the “DA’s Office”) could not use any of the suppressed items as evidence against the client, and that the DA’s Office therefore could not continue to prosecute the case.
Commonwealth v. Client. The police on a university campus in Boston claimed that the client took them on a high speed chase and assaulted one of them with a dangerous weapon when he drove his car directly at one of them as they tried to block his path of escape. The client was charged with Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (a motor vehicle); Reckless Operation; Unlicensed Operation; and several other offenses. Through the aggressive pursuit of pre-trial discovery (meaning, the pursuit of any and all evidence that tends to establish the client’s innocence or alleged guilt), Mr. Booker learned that the police department used an unfairly suggestive photographic array to obtain a supposed positive eyewitness identification of the client by one of their own police officers. Mr. Booker moved to suppress this identification procedure as unfairly suggestive and therefore a violation of constitutional client’s right to due process. After a hearing, during which Mr. Booker questioned two detectives and a police officer, the court allowed the client’s motion to suppress both the out-of-court identification and ant and all subsequent in-court identifications of the client. The DA’s Office then moved to dismiss all charges.
Commonwealth v. Client. The police searched the client and the car that he was sitting in after they supposedly observed a known drug user approach the car, spot the police watching him, and then walk away from the car. The warrantless search turned up several bags of marijuana and $525 in cash. The client was charged with 1 count of Distribution of a Class D Substance; Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class D Substance; and 2 counts of a Drug Violation Near a School or Park (“School Zone charge”). The School Zone charges put client at risk of a minimum mandatory 2-year sentence to the house of correction. Mr. Booker filed a motion to suppress all evidence that the police seized from the client and his car. After a hearing, the COURT ALLOWED THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS. This destroyed the DA’s Office’s case against the client. Mr. Booker also moved for the return to client of his $525 in cash, which the court allowed.
Commonwealth v. Client. The police pulled over a car in which the client was a back-seat passenger. This occurred shortly before midnight on a street in Dorchester. The police, citing safety concerns arising from the time of night when the stop occurred and the firearm-related previous arrests of the driver and the front-seat passenger in the car, ordered all occupants out of the car. The police claimed that client’s wallet fell open on the back seat of the car when client exited the car in accordance with their order. The police looked at several debit and credit cards that the police claimed had tumbled out of client’s wallet when it fell on the back seat. These credit cards bore the names of several persons other than client. The police also discovered $901 in cash in or near client’s wallet. The client was charged with 5 counts of Possession of Stolen Credit Cards. Mr. Booker moved to suppress the evidence seized during the warrantless search of client and the car in which he was a passenger. After a hearing, the court ALLOWED THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS. Mr. Booker also moved for the return to client of his $901 in cash, which the court allowed.
Commonwealth v. Client. A state trooper pulled over a car that client was driving because it displayed an expired safety inspection sticker. During the stop, the trooper conducted a warrantless search of client’s backpack, which was on the passenger seat of the car that client was driving. The warrantless search of the client’s backpack turned up pills for which client allegedly could not produce a prescription. The Client was charged with Possession of a Class C Substance. Mr. Booker moved to suppress all evidence that the trooper seized from client and the car that he had been driving. After a hearing, the COURT ALLOWED THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS. This ended the case against the client.