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Case Conclusion Date: 02.02.2010
Practice Area: Criminal defense
Description: KW was initially charged with Receiving Stolen Property (F2), Possession of Firearm Prohibited (F3), Firearms Not to be Carried W/O License (F3), Drug Possession w/ the Intent to Deliver (F3), Drug Paraphernalia (M2). He would have been facing a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty. KW was initially pulled over because of the tint on his vehicle; however, the officer also testified that he began following the van because he had received information within the past three weeks about a driver of a white van causing problems in the neighborhood. A stop was made whereby the officer requested identification of the driver and proof of registration and insurance. The driver provided all requested documents. The officer then had the two occupants step out of the vehicle and to the rear of their vehicle. The officer ran a criminal background check and noted that the driver previously had a firearms charge. This charge was approximately five years ago. Based on that information the officer completed what he called a protective sweep of the driver’s side compartment of the vehicle where he found a gun underneath the driver’s side seat. Upon finding the firearm he immediately came back to the rear of the vehicle where the defendant was standing with the passenger and several other officers and placed the driver in handcuffs. The passenger was left go, no questions asked. The driver of the vehicle was taken away at that point and the arresting officer contacted the registered vehicle owner requesting her consent to search the vehicle. She gave consent to search only after the officer advised her that he would obtain a search warrant and the vehicle would be towed. In the vehicle they found crack cocaine and other items of drug paraphernalia. Attorney Dorward argued that the officer conducted an improper search of the vehicle and the judge agreed. All charges were dismissed except for a summary tint charge.