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The Facts



The Results

The Police responded to Walmart after a woman called in claiming the defendant had stolen her son’s cell phone and would not give it back until she gave him $40.00. The officer located the defendant and saw him walking towards the store exit and past the cashier. The defendant appeared very nervous and had a visible bulge in the waste band under his shirt. The officer patted down the defendant for the presence of weapons and found a plastic wrapper hanging out of his right pants pocket. The bulky area around the defendant’s wasteband was three pairs of new boxer shorts. The defendant then stated “I needed some fresh underwear, but didn’t have any money.” He was then placed under arrest for Petit Theft and taken down to the police station. The Firm filed a motion to suppress alleging that the officer’s initial pat down was illegal in that the officer did not have a specific articuable suspicion that the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon. Additionally, our Firm argued that even if the Officer did have a right to pat the defendant down for weapons, the Officer could not go and retrieve what was later found to be underwear and boxer shorts because it was not readily apparent that the object was a dangerous weapon. The State Attorney’s Office agreed to the motion to suppress and conceded that the search was illegal. The Court granted the motion and then dismissed the charges against the Defendant.