Dismissed & Sealed

My client, an army NCO, was charged with a first offense DUI. After drinking downtown with friends, he got into his car to sleep it off. Unfortunately, it was cold outside, and my client had the vehicle running while he slept. A police sergeant across the street was providing cover to a DUI officer during a separate DUI investigation when he noticed my client’s car running throughout the investigation. The sergeant crossed the street and shined his light into the vehicle, seeing my client reclined in the driver’s seat asleep. Without knocking or otherwise announcing himself, the sergeant opened my client’s car door without permission and began a DUI investigation. At the DMV hearing, I was able to successfully argue that the opening of the Client’s door was an illegal search, a violation of my client’s 4th Amendment rights, and that everything after opening the door was fruit of the poisonous tree and should be suppressed. The hearing officer agreed, and the DMV suspension was overturned. I was then able to leverage the DMV dismissal into a dismissal of the criminal case, and the case was immediately sealed.