Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth District Court of Appeal recently reversed a denial of a juvenile’s motion to suppress physical evidence, which was obtained in violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. In B.L. v. State of Florida, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D2640d (Fla. 4th DCA Nov. 14, 2012), prosecutors charged B.L. (a minor) with carrying a concealed weapon. According to the police officer, the defendant entered a park after dark, when the officer shined his police car spotlight, approached him and saw the defendant handing a sweatshirt to a female. The police officer grabbed the sweatshirt and felt a metal object inside, which the police officer thought was a gun but turned out to be a knife. The defendant was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. The defendant moved to suppress the search and seizure of his sweatshirt, arguing that it was illegal, in violation of his Fourth Amendment constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

First, contrary to the State’s arguments, the Appellate Court ruled that the defendant had standing to move to suppress because he had an expectation of privacy in the sweatshirt that he had not yet relinquished when the police officer seized it. Second, the Appellate Court concluded that in the totality of circumstances, the arresting officer did not have grounds for an investigatory stop and seizure of the sweatshirt. As a result, the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress was reversed. If you find yourself in a similar situation, a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you present the best possible case and aggressively argue that your illegal search and seizure of evidence is in violation of the Fourth Amendment and should be suppressed. Herman Law, P.A. is experienced and dedicated in protecting your rights, and as a former prosecutor, can help you successfully navigate the criminal justice process. Visit our website at for more information and to schedule your free consultation.