Motion to Suppress/ Dismiss. What are my chances?

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Motion to Suppress/ Dismiss. What are my chances?

I was initially pulled over for a blinking license plate light. Which after a search led to arrest and the vehicle was impounded. Immediately after getting the vehicle out of impound I had the LP light checked by two different qualified establishments. Both said and documented that light was in perfect working order. What are my chances for a motion to dismiss & supress to be granted? This incident took place in Mohave County.of Arizona.

Asked on May 7, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT, not AZ, but i practice criminal defense.  The laws regarding stopping people are generally the same in most states- ie. the police need reasonable suspicion to believe that you have and or are committing a crime.  The question i have is whether you are permitted to have a blinking license plate light?  what are you referring to on your car?  Did the light come with your car or did you add it after the fact?  this is important.  If the light is an extra and there is a statute that may have been violated, the police had the right to stop you and your dead.  If the light was a part of your car andyou can prove it was working at the time the police stopped you, then you have a fighting chance. However, you are going to be having an argument between a mechanic you hire to say the light was working v. a police officer who will say it was not working.  Its  toss up, so you have a chance.  What were you arrested for? drugs?  To have a suppression hearing you could spend 5K in legal fees.  I would find out what your total exposure is and whether community service can get the case to result in a dismissal as opposed to an expensive coin toss.  You certainly may ave a fighting chance, but you wil need to hire a lawyer - this is not a fight you want to have pro se.


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