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State v. Leonard

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

June 27, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
MICHAEL LEONARD

          Devens M, Hamlen, Esq. Maine Bar No. 9973 Attorney for the Defendant.

          MOTION TO SUPPRESS

         NOW COMES Defendant, Mr. Michael Leonard, by and through counsel- Devens M. Hamlen of The H&H LawCenter, and requests that this Honorable Court suppress all evidence arrising from the illegal seizure on May 15, 2015 as it was obtained in violation of Article 1 section 5 of the Maine State Constitution and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

         As grounds for this Motion, Mr. Leonard respectfully states:

         FACTS

         1. The State had charged Mr. Leonard with one Class D Misdemeanor of Operating Under the Influence and one Class E Misdemeanor of Improper Plates.

         2. Unless otherwise indicated, according to reports from Cumberland County Sheriffs Deputy Nicholas Mangino as well as discovery provided by the State, the following events occurred on May 15, 2015:

         3. At approximately 12:45 in the morning Deputy Mangino was on patrol. As Deputy Mangino drove north on Route 35, he came upon a tan sedan driving north.

         4. While Deputy Mangino drove behind the car, he saw the vehicle cross the yellow line two times. He also saw the car touch the white fog line twice. The second time the car touched the fog line, it traveled on the fog line for a short distance.

         5. Deputy Mangino turned on his blue lights and pulled the car over. The driver was later identified as Michael Leonard. After conducting some field sobriety tests and making a few other observations, Deputy Mangino arrested Mr. Leonard for Operating Under the Influence.

         LEGAL ARGUMENT

         6. Part I, Article 5 of the Maine Constitution provides that "[t]he people shall be secure in their houses, papers, and possessions from all unreasonable searches and seizures." Part 1, Article 5 of the Maine Constitution as well as 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution are implicated when a seizure occurs. State v. Cilley. 1998 ME 34 at ¶ 5.

         7. "A seizure of the person occurs when 'the officer, by means of physical force or show of authority, has in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen' such that he is not free to walk away." State v. Preble. 430 A.2d 553, 555 (Me. 1981) (quoting U.S. v. Viegas. 639 F.2d 42, 44 (1st Cir. 1981)); see also, U.S. v. Mendenhall. 446 U.S. 544 (1980) (holding that a when a reasonable person feels as if they are not free to leave, a seizure occurs). This is an objective standard and the subjective belief of the officer is not relevant. Id. at 555 n.6.

         8. A warrantless seizure is per se unreasonable unless it is accompanied by an objective reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal conduct has occurred or is about to occur. State v. Whitney. 2012 ME 105; State v. Langlois. 2005 ME 3.

         9. An investigatory stop is a valid exception to the warrant requirement only if two conditions are met, first "the officer must in fact have had an articulable suspicion of criminal conduct" and second "the officer's suspicion must be objectively reasonable in the totality of the circumstances." State v. Carnevale, 598 A.2d 746, 748 (Me. 1991). A mere hunch is not enough. "The officer's inarticulate hunch cannot be converted into a 'reasonable suspicion' by second thoughts developed at the suppression hearing." State v. Chapman, 494 A.2d 314, 317 (Me. 1995). The police must possess actual ...


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