STATE v. B.O.
Charges: Possession of a Scheduled Drug (hydrocodone) class "C" felony
Maximum Penalty: 5 years in state prison; $5,000.00 fine; 3 years probation
Summary: Client was driving down the Maine Turnpike and heading back home after a relaxing vacation weekend at the family camp when she was stopped by a Maine State Trooper for her passenger who wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The Trooper was extremely aggressive and had a "hunch" that my client had drugs in her car. The Trooper was seen on video peering in all of the car windows in the hopes of observing illegal "contraband". After obtaining my client's driver's license and registration, the Trooper had my client step out of her car so he could "speak with her". The Trooper began questioning my client about drug use and whether or not she had drugs in the car. Ultimately, my client admitted to having a "joint" in the car and the Trooper used that admission to conduct a full search of her car where he later found over 50 hydrocodone tablets. Client was charged with felony possession of drugs.
Result: Within days of the arrest, my client met with me at the office and retained my services. We requested an opportunity to view the video prior to the client's court date and discovered that the Trooper had no reasonable suspicion to seize my client beyond what was necessary to wrap up the traffic stop. After my client was indicted by Grand Jury for the drug charge, we filed a Motion to Suppress all the drugs, which were obtained as the result of an unlawful seizure. The DA fought us tooth and nail but ultimately capitulated at the 11th hour and agreed to file the case without cost, which resulted in a full dismissal of the charges. My client, who has no criminal record, was relieved to have this event behind him/her and can now move on with his/her life.