County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW Ė Search and Seizure Ė Stop Ė Stop justified where police knew registered vehicle owner had suspended driverís license and description of driver matched registered vehicle owner. Order granting defendantís motion to suppress reversed. State v. York, No. CRC 06-53 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. June 11, 2007).

 

 

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING

AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

 

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

††††††††††† Appellant,

 

 

v.                                                                                                                                           AppealNo. CRC 06-53 APANO

UCN522006AP00053XXXXCR

PHILLIP M. YORK

 

††††††††††† Appellee.

______________________________/

 

 

Opinion filed ______________________.

 

Appeal from a decision of the

Pinellas County Court

Honorable William Overton

Pinellas County Judge

 

Moin Khan, Esquire

Assistant State Attorney

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

††††††††††† (J. Morris)

 

 

††††††††††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Stateís appeal from a decision of the Pinellas County Court to grant the defendantís motion to suppress. After reviewing the initial brief and record, the appellee failed to file a brief, this Court reverses the decision of the trial court.

††††††††††† While on patrol, a deputy conducted a vehicle registration tag check of the vehicle being driven by the defendant. The check revealed that the registered owner had a suspended driverís license. The check also revealed that the registered owner was a male, six feet tall, and born in 1962. The deputy testified that this data matched the defendant driver. The deputy suspected the defendant was driving with a suspended driverís license, so he conducted a traffic stop. The defendant was ultimately charged with DWLSR.

††††††††††† The State contends that the trial court erred in granting the defendantís motion to suppress. The trial court relied upon State v. Perkins, 760 So.2d 85 (Fla. 2000), in granting the motion to suppress. That case, however, has been interpreted in light of similar facts to those in the case at bar as not invalidating a stop. See State v. Brooks, No. CRC 00-16887 CF (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. April 6, 2001); State v. Dougherty, No. CRC 00-16690 CF (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. April 27, 2001); State v. Rohrer, No. CRC 00-12114 CF (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. July 2, 2001); State v. Haskell, No. CRC 02-20803 CF (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. June 1, 2003).

††††††††††† For example, in Brooks, it was noted that the issue in Perkins was whether or not a suspectís identity could be suppressed when law enforcement lacked a valid reason to conduct an investigatory stop. In Perkins there was no information prior to the stop that the registered owner had a suspended driverís license. In a case such as the one at bar, however, where there is such information, the stop is valid and Perkins is simply not applicable.

††††††††††† Smith v. State, 574 So.2d 300 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991), is controlling. In Smith, the court held that an investigatory stop is supported when law enforcement determines that the registered owner does not possess a valid driverís license. Accordingly, the stop in this case was proper.

††††††††††† IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the order granting the defendantís motion to suppress is reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for action consistent with this Order and Opinion.

DONE AND ORDERED this _____ day of June, 2007.

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ___________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† David A. Demers

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Court Judge

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ____________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Raymond O. Gross

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Court Judge

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _____________________________

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Robert J. Morris, Jr.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Circuit Court Judge

 

cc:††††††† Office of the State Attorney

 

††††††††††† Honorable William Overton

 

††††††††††† Herbert Gould, Esq.

 

†††††††††††