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Suppression of Fort Wayne Operating While Intoxicated Evidence Upheld

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a ruling of the Allen Superior Court to suppress evidence obtained during an Operating While Intoxicated investigation in Fort Wayne. An officer pulled the defendant over because an anonymous caller made a report regarding a pick-up truck, and the officer later observed the defendant weave across the center line of two southbound lanes of travel in the general area of Fort Wayne referenced by the caller. During the traffic stop, the officer observed signs of intoxication and arrested the defendant for Operating While Intoxicated and Driving Left of Center.

Prior to trial, the defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the OWI stop arguing that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle. The Allen County Superior Court granted the motion to suppress, finding that the defendant did not commit a traffic violation when he crossed the center line of two southbound lanes on a Fort Wayne street. The court also found that the officer’s reliance on the anonymous caller was unfounded. The State appealed.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the Allen County Superior Court’s ruling. The Court recognized that an officer may stop a vehicle when he observes a minor traffic violation. However, an officer’s mistaken belief about what constitutes a violation does not amount to good faith. The Court found that the defendant did not commit a violation when he crossed the center line because he did not cross into the opposite lane of travel.

The Court further held that the officer’s reliance on information from the anonymous caller was unfounded. Under Indiana law, an anonymous report, absent independent evidence confirming the report, is insufficient to justify a motor vehicle stop. Thus, the stop was unlawful and all evidence obtained during the Operating While Intoxicated investigation was ordered suppressed. 

Fort Wayne Operating While Intoxicated Attorney: Attacking an Illegal Traffic Stop

If you are arrested for Operating While Intoxicated in Fort Wayne, Indiana call Gibson Law Office for a free initial consultation. We have defended clients in OWI cases for the past 15 years in all regions of Indiana. The police cannot randomly pull you over to check to see of you are drinking. If you are arrested for OWI following an illegal traffic stop, we will attack the evidence by filing a motion to suppress.

Need an OWI Lawyer in Allen County, Indiana? Call Gibson Law Office

With offices in Fort Wayne and Lafayette, we have defended criminal cases in more than 50 Indiana Counties. Defending OWI cases requires a detailed analysis of the traffic stop, the interaction with police, the procedures used for the breath test or blood draw, and the total circumstances of the arrest.  The law can change daily with new Court of Appeals decisions. We only handle criminal cases and we have a team of OWI lawyers that monitor new court decisions. We have handled hundreds of OWI cases, and that experience enables us to strategically work to obtain the best possible results for our clients. We always offer a free consultation. If you are charged with OWI, and want aggressive representation, call us today.
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Posted: 10/17/2013 10:37:54 AM by Brett Gibson


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