Judge Didn't Trust Officers Who Used Deception

As a 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.

Categories: Criminal law
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