criminal lawyer, I often deal with law enforcement using deceptive practices. I
was encouraged to hear about the recent decision from Florida by Judge Will.
Apparently, the judge called into question the credibility of the officers,
which then led the prosecutors to dismissing a drug possession case against
the defendant. Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood accused Circuit
Judge Joseph Will of skewing the facts when the jurist said he believed
an elderly woman over two officers.
Judge Will had ruled earlier that because police officers used deception
to enter the Defendant's home, it called into question whether other
parts of their testimony was credible. Specifically, the fact of whether
they asked permission to search through the house without a warrant was
called into question.
On the night of September 10, police knocked on the Defendant's mother's
door, and lied, saying they were investigating a 911 disconnect call.
They told her they wanted to make sure everyone was safe. But they were
really looking for drugs. The Defendant was arrested when the officers
opened a drawer to found pills and a pot pipe.
"A liar, after all, is a liar," wrote Judge Will in his order,
which suppressed the evidence.
Kudos to Judge Will for holding up law enforcement accountable for their
lies and deception. It should be notes that the judge did not suppress
the evidence merely because the officers lied. Their lies simply helped
him decide who to believe when trying to figure out what actually happened.
This is an encouraging story to all criminal defense attorneys who are
trying to fight the good fight.