Proper Traffic Stop Upends Motion to Suppress Evidence
Cobb Superior Court convicted a defendant of trafficking in methamphetamine, driving without a license, giving false information to a law enforcement officer, and obstruction of an officer. The defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence, believing that the evidence was unlawfully obtained; however, the trial court denied the motion, prompting the defendant to appeal.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals reviewed the case, determining that the defendant was initially stopped for a cracked taillight and broken lens. When asked for his license, the defendant told the officer that he did not carry it with him and then provided the officer with a false name and date of birth. The defendant was asked to vacate his car, and then he was handcuffed. The officer found “$2,200 in cash and a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue.” When the defendant ran, the officer apprehended him, and then officers discovered enough meth to support a trafficking charge.
The Court showed that the stop was legal because of the cracked taillight and broken lens. His arrest followed the discovery of the false information, and once the defendant was under arrest, the officers were permitted to search the vehicle.
The Appeals Court supported the trial court in its decision to deny the motion to suppress evidence and upheld the court’s convictions.