County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW: - Search and Seizure Ė Stop - The investigatory stop of defendantís car unlawful where officer testified that the only basis for the stop was that the defendant failed to maintain a single lane where no other traffic was affected.Defendant not in violation of Fla. Stat.ß 316.089.Order affirmed.

State v. Crilley, No. 02-88 (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. Dec. 12, 2002).

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

 

STATE OF FLORIDA,

††††††††††† Appellant

 

vs.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CRC01-19098CFANO

 

JEPHREY JOSEPH CRILLEY,

Appellee.

_____________________________/

 

Opinion filed _____________________

 

Appeal from Order granting Motion to Suppress

Pinellas County Court

County Judge William Overton

 

Heather B. Quick, Esq.

Assistant State Attorney

Attorney for Appellant

 

Timothy W. Weber, Esq.

Attorney for Appellee

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

††††††††††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Stateís appeal from the trial courtís Order granting the defendantís Motion to Suppress.After reviewing the briefs and record, this court affirms the trial courtís decision.

††††††††††† On March 4, 2001 at approximately 9:30 p.m. Officer Jonette Demange with the Treasure Island Police Department stopped the defendant for failure to maintain a single lane in violation of Fla. Stat ß316.089.After stopping the defendant, Officer Demange initiated an investigation that ultimately resulted in the defendantís arrest for DUI.

††††††††††† At the hearing on the Motion to Suppress, the officer testified that prior to the stop she was driving directly behind the defendant at the 112 block on Gulf Boulevard in the curbside lane.At approximately the 121st block she observed the defendant begin to swerve over the curb lane on the right side of the road for approximately fifty feet by one foot.At the 123rd block the officer observed the defendant swerve to the left approximately one foot into the northbound divider lane for approximately fifty feet.At the 126th block, the officer observed the appellee cross over the northbound divider lane for approximately fifty feet.Officer Demange testified that no other traffic was affected by the defendantís driving.The officer stated that her sole reason for conducting the traffic stop was the defendantís failure to maintain a single lane.The officer testified that she did not stop the defendant because she though he might be sick, on the phone, impaired or suffering from a seizure.The officer stated she could not determine any of those factors until she reached the vehicle.

††††††††††† On granting defendantís Motion to Suppress, the trial court found ďthat Officer Jeanette Demange, with the Treasure Island Police Department, conducted a traffic stop on the Defendantís vehicle, the sole basis of which was failure to maintain a single lane under Section 316.089, Florida Statutes (2001); that the Defendantís driving did not affect any other traffic on the roadway or create a reasonable safety concern warranting an investigatory stop; and thus the Court relied on the cases of State v. Gianchinta, 5 Fla. L. Weekly Supp 661 (Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., May 12, 1998) and State v. Walker, 8 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 389 (Fla. 6th Cir., May 13, 2001) and the traffic stop was improper.Ē

††††††††††† ďAppellate review of a motion to suppress involves questions of both law and fact and an appellate court must make a de novo review of the trial courtís application of the law to the facts.ĒRosenquist v. State, 769 So.2d 1051 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).Furthermore, ďa ruling on a motion to suppress is presumptively correct, and a reviewing court should interpret the evidence and reasonable inferences and deductions drawn from the evidence in a manner most favorable to sustaining the trial court ruling.ĒJohnston v. State, 438 So.2d 774 (Fla. 1983).

††††††††††† This Court agrees with the trial court.As in the case law cited by the trial court, although the defendantís vehicle may well have been weaving over the short distance, no other traffic was impeded or endangered, nor were any pedestrians endangered.The arresting officer testified that the only basis for her stop was that the defendant failed to maintain a single lane although the defendantís driving was not affecting the other traffic.Based on those facts, there was no violation of Fla. Stat. ß316.089 which would have given the officer probable cause for the stop.It is therefore,

††††††††††† ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the trial courtís Order granting the defendantís Motion to Suppress is affirmed.

††††††††††† DONE AND ORDERED in chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _______ day of December, 2002.

 

 

 

___________________________________

NANCY MOATE LEY

Circuit Judge

Primary Appellate Judge

 

 

 

____________________________________

W. DOUGLAS BAIRD

Circuit Judge

 

 

 

 

____________________________________

TIMOTHY R. PETERS

Circuit Judge