There Was Nothing Warm and Fuzzy About This Maryland Traffic Stop

January 2, 2014

 My client was pulled over because, in the opinion of the Montgomery County Maryland police officer, the Washington Redskins fuzzy dice hanging from my client’s rear view mirror were obstructing his view in violation of Transportation Article, §21-1104, Annotated Code of Maryland which states in part ” (c)  Obstruction of view through windshield.-  (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway with any object, material, or obstruction so located in or on the vehicle as to interfere with the clear view of the driver through the windshield. “

The problem with this relatively ordinary Maryland traffic stop was that my client had a prior arrest for Maryland marijuana possession and when the officer “smelled marijuana on his registration” the office claimed probable cause to search the entire vehicle.  Of course the officer discovered some marijuana seeds and residue in the center console and a long forgotten pipe in the trunk.  My client was charged with his second possession of marijuana and paraphernalia charge in less than a year.

After talking to my client and receiving the police report and dispatch tapes that recorded the timing of the stop something didn’t smell right and it wasn’t marijuana.  I advised my client as to his options and he agreed that we should take this case to trial.  On the date of trial the State offered to allow us to plea to marijuana possession.  We of course turned that down since we were going to move the court to suppress all evidence obtained because of an illegal stop.  When the officer that pulled over my client didn’t even bother to show up to court we continued to hold firm.  Once the State realized that we would not accept anything more than a dismissal they called the officer to come into court.

After almost three hours in court the officer finally arrived.  After a brief conversation with the State’s attorney I observed him walk briskly from the courtroom muttering “this is bullsh*t” under his breath.  Needless to say the State dropped all charges.

Unfortunately, the court did not have an opportunity to rule on the legality of the traffic stop but if the officer’s actions in court were any indication it sure smelled of a pretextual stop and I am confident that the court would have granted our motion to suppress.

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Maryland DWI attorney William Day practices DWI law before the Maryland state and federal courts.  His practice area also includes drug related charges, alcohol related charges and juvenile charges.  Call today for a free no obligation consultation of your case.

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