State v. JK & JK v. Commissioner of Public Safety


Gross Misdemeanor DWI and Possession of a Pistol While Intoxicated


All Charges Dismissed and Driver’s License Revocation Rescinded

J.K. was sitting in front of a chinese restaurant waiting for an order when suddenly he was surrounded by police. They interrogated him and eventually ordered him out of his vehicle. The officers claimed an anonymous tipster called and reported a “kid” smoking weed in a red truck in front of the restaurant.
J.K. was adamant that his rights had been violated and he never wavered in his commitment to fighting the case. At a motion hearing, we argued that J.K.’s Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures was violated when he was ordered out of the vehicle. The prosecution tried to argue that J.K. was not seized (AKA stopped) in a way that would trigger his Fourth Amendment rights, and, if he was seized, it was a lawful seizure. Ultimately, the Court found that J.K. had been seized when officers approached him on both sides of his vehicle and asked him investigatory questions. It also found that the seizure was unconstitutional. An anonymous tip that does not include any information as to why the tipster believes a crime was committed does not provide reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop a person or a vehicle.
All charges were dismissed and J.K.’s driving privileges were reinstated!