evidence suppressed

Criminal Charges Dismissed

Defense Attorney Chris Kessel Files Motion and Gets Case Dismissed.

A Third Circuit Court judge agreed with criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel that a Highland Park police officer violated his client’s 4th Amendment rights, thereby causing the case t be dismissed.  The client was thrilled when she realized that the charged against her were to be dropped because the prosecutor no longer had any evidence to support the charges.  The case was unique in that an officer was totally and completely honest when he described how he violated the client’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  What was not unique was that the officer still did not believe he did anything wrong.

In his testimony, the officer described how he watched the client (legally) park her vehicle on the side of the road and then remain in the vehicle for several minutes.  The officer admitted that he had no reason to suspect that the client was engaged in any criminal activity, whatsoever.  Despite that fact, the officer activated his emergency lights and performed a traffic stop on the client.  According to the officer, he was conducting a “wellness check.”  Oddly enough, when cross examined by attorney Chris Kessel, the officer was forced to admit that he was not able to see anyone in the vehicle acting in a manner that would indicate anyone was in distress.  The officer also testified that when he approached the client he asked her for her license and registration.  His reason; “I wanted to know who I was talking to.”  However, the officer was unable to respond when Chris Kessel asked, “if you wanted to know who you were talking to, why didn’t you just ask her for her name?”

After argument, the judge sided with Mr. Kessel, agreeing that the officer had no authority to stop the client.  As such, the evidence recovered as a result of the traffic stop was suppressed and the case was dismissed.