On October 22, 2014, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge granted a Motion to Suppress after an all-day hearing, resulting in the dismissal of felony drug charges against Houlon Berman’s client. The State alleged that the Houlon Berman client possessed an ounce of cocaine with the intent of distributing it. The drugs were recovered by the police after a traffic stop for an illegal turn, which quickly became a full custodial search of the person and vehicle.
Evidence at the hearing revealed that the officers abandoned the investigation of a simple traffic violation by failing to even ask the driver for their license and registration; by immediately opening the door to the client’s vehicle to take him out; by physically touching him in the process; and by removing him to the rear of the vehicle and ordering him to take the frisk position.
The Court ruled that the actions by the police amounting to the arrest required probable cause far beyond a mere traffic violation, which this case lacked.