Suppression Won, Client Walks

Maryland Criminal Defense — Drugs

The Firm scored a nice victory in Baltimore City Circuit Court today. Our client was charged with possession with intent to distribute CDS. He was facing a long sentence. We challenged the stop of his car, arguing that it was illegal, and attempted to suppress all of the evidence obtained as a result of the stop.
The argument was somewhat technical. The police officer claimed that he pulled the car over because one of the tag lights was out. (Tag lights are the small lights on either side of a rear license plate.) At the hearing he testified that, as he was following the car, he was able to see that the light was out, but he could also clearly read the license plate.
We argued that the law does not actually prohibit someone from driving with one non-working tag light. What the law does require is that the license plate is visible from 50 feet — regardless of whether it is illuminated by one or two tag lights. Since the officer testified that he could see the tag, he could not have possibly pulled the car over because the tag was not visible.
The judge agreed with us and found the stop to be illegal. All evidence, including CDS and our client’s confession, was suppressed. The State promptly dropped the charges.