The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine forces cops to play by the rules. Essentially, the doctrine eliminates any evidence police seize that was not collected properly. If the cops violate the 4th amendment (or Article 14 in Massachusetts) a judge should rule the drugs found in the sugar bowl are not admissible. Case dismissed.
I recently had a criminal defense case where the driver in a traffic stop was arrested and charged with being in possession of cocaine. This was the classic constructive possession case after an ill advised exit order of the passenger led to the discovery of a crack pipe under his legs. The driver, my attorneys client, had no idea the drugs were there. Later we learned the passenger dumped the pipe on the floor once the flashing blue lights went on. The crux of the case weighed heavily on the search of the car following the exit order which I determined to be inappropriate. The cops made no attempt to justify why they were pulling the driver or the passenger out of the car. They observed no drugs, no drug use, no inappropriate “furtive” movements...nothing. Armed with this expert information from someone whose been doing police work for the last two decades, the judge was forced to toss the ill-gotten drugs and thus, toss the case.
My ability to assume a third party, professional practitioner view of the police performance was the saving grace for the attorney. Click here to learn more information about having an expert in police procedure review your case.
Blog posts are written by Rob Disario and include opinion editorials about policing and private investigations. Other topics include tips and tricks to protect yourself, thoughts for today, new products and product reviews. Rob's opinions are his own which are protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and do not reflect any other entity, affiliation or person.