On November 26, 2012, attorney Daniel Farnsworth received a final decision on a pending appeal.
The case originated in Henry County. Client was stopped for allegedly following too closely behind the vehicle in front of her. After a brief encounter, the officer stated he was going to issue a warning citation and finished writing the citation approximately 5 minutes into the encounter. The officer then impermissibly extended the scope of the traffic stop by fishing for other alleged criminal activity. The officer based his “hunch” of other criminal activity based upon nervousness of the client. The officer was repeatedly denied permission to search the client’s vehicle (SMART MOVE! NEVER GIVE PERMISSION TO SEARCH). More than 12 minutes into the traffic stop, the officer walked his K9 unit around the vehicle. The K9 unit “indicated” on the vehicle which was then search. During the search the officer uncovered over 28 grams of cocaine in the vehicle.
The trial court denied client’s motion to suppress but gave the client a certificate of immediate review. Client next asked the Georgia Court of Appeals to grant an application for interlocutory review since the case was still pending in Superior Court. The Court of Appeals granted the application and agreed to look at the case while the case was still on-going. Normally, the Court of Appeals reviews a case when the case is completed. Seizing on this rare opportunity, the client’s appeal was filed on March 27, 2012.
Mr. Farnsworth received the final decision from the court and immediately went to the end of the opinion…”Accordingly, because the officer illegally detained [client], the order of the trial court is reversed and the case is remanded with direction to grant [client’s] motion to suppress.”
VICTORY!!! Case dismissed.
Weems v. State
A12A1353, Georgia Court of Appeals