Clients Restraining Order Violation Case Eventually Dismissed by District Attorney
Restraining Order Violation
My client was waiting for his girlfriend while seated in the front passenger seat of her car. The car was parked on the street outside of her house in what the police described as a “high crime” area of San Bruno. Both my client and his girlfriend were planning a night out on the town. While my client was waiting for his girlfriend two officers drove past him and shined their spotlight on him because he was slouching in his seat. Believing this behavior to be suspicious, the officers made a U-turn, drove their marked patrol within twenty feet of my client, parked and exited to speak to him. One officer asked my client for his identification while the other officer stood cover. After obtaining my client's driver's license the officer ran him through their wants and warrants system and discovered that his girlfriend had a no contact and 100 yard stay order protecting her from him. After discovering this information my client's girlfriend walked out of her house and toward her car. The officers confirmed her identity and arrested my client. I filed a motion to suppress evidence which argued that my client was unlawfully detained and that the officers' claim of a consensual encounter was unfounded given the nature of their contact, including: the officers' use of their spotlight and headlights to shine on my client; one officer standing cover; the other officer asking for identification without an explanation as to why he wanted it; running my client in their wants and warrants system over his radio and in my client's presence; and, failing to advise my client that he was free to leave. The judge nobly took the case under the submission to perform essential research to come to the correct decision. After taking the case under submission, the judge wrote a two page written decision granting my client's motion to suppress evidence of the officers' discovery of the restraining order and their subsequent observations of its violation. Without this crucial evidence against my client, the District Attorney eventually dismissed the case against my client.