Massachusetts Cop Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Motion trial on Tuesday and looking for some help on Ch. 90-13... I Observed an airfreshner hanging from the rear view mirror. Stopped the car, walked up and smelled marijuana. I asked for License and Registration, his reply was his license was suspended. I asked him out of the car and placed him under arrest. I know there going after the reason for the stop.. I'm looking for some help with this... Any good lines that anyone has used on this section on the stand... Please let me know....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
we have tried the air freshner stop a few times and got spanked by 2 different judges in springfield district ct on it. you have a tough fight. you should save impeded stops for the giant stickers on the windows or the car with a mountian of trash all over the dash etc.. its a weak stop to begin with and hard to convince the judge on. i hope it works for ya. good luck.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
5,135 Posts
meeko1 said:
I have a Motion trial on Tuesday and looking for some help on Ch. 90-13... I Observed an airfreshner hanging from the rear view mirror. Stopped the car, walked up and smelled marijuana. I asked for License and Registration, his reply was his license was suspended. I asked him out of the car and placed him under arrest. I know there going after the reason for the stop.. I'm looking for some help with this... Any good lines that anyone has used on this section on the stand... Please let me know....
The case of Comm v. Brazeau decided in July of this year has basically thrown this excuse out the window. Items hanging from a rear view mirror are not illegal. You must show that they did in fact impede the operation of the mv. Good luck trying to show this with an air freshener.

We had an attorney come to our station parking lot and take photos of every vehicle with something hanging from the rear view mirror. Some police, some civilian employees, and whoever happened to be at the station doing business at the time.
Of course, we did not know this until he produced the photos months later.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
885 Posts
This thread is juat a few down from the one we're in
http://www.masscops.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6352
As wolfman stated
Do they dangle, swing, or twist which could distract the operator or appear to be something in the road if viewed from the corner of one's eye (air fresheners, bandannas)? Do they reflect sunlight or headlights which could momentarily dazzle the operator or give the appearance of traffic where there is none (CD's, prisms, crystals)? Are they of such a size that their presence would obfuscate the appearance of other traffic or pedestrians along the road ? (remember, when items are a ways off, they appear smaller! A pine tree air freshener or CD could easily block the operator's view of a small child walking into the street.)

Bear this in mind when writing those reports! All it takes is wording like, "I have made numerous observations in the past of vehicles operated erratically as a result of the movement of such objects interfering with the operator's ability to view his environment." Testify from your own experience; "I have been a passenger in a vehicle where such items were mounted and I personally noticed that it distracted from my ability to concentrate on my surroundings."
 

·
Chapter 90 Enforcer
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Yeah, I saw an OUI case get challenged on this... you need to articulate the air freshener or object was a distraction. Perhaps the air freshener was larger than usual and swayed side to side partially blocking the operators view. Also, the defense attorney had brought up a good point in the case I saw, "Was the object at the operators eye-level?".. "if it's above (or below) how could it interfere with my clients view of the road?". 90-13 is useful if the object in question is big enough or ACTUALLY impedes operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank You all for the comments to my question. I'm still a Rookie trying to learn. It is my opinion if you dont go out and try you will not succeed. I was refered to this site by a friend. My friend said that there are a great bunch of people that interact here. Thats why I asked this question. I know what i did was questionable. I just wanted to hear some comments and maybe somebody with much more knowledge then me could help me out.... STAY SAFE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Meeko - I like your attitude. Experience is the best teacher. You sound like you're going to be a great 'working cop.' Don't sweat the motion and go with Wolfman's advice; HONESTY. I would suggest that if you want to be active and make good stops/arrests then brush up on case law. Late on last halves (0500hrs or so) crack open a Crim Pro/Law/MV book and read a bit. We've all lost motions and you will too. Learning from your mistakes is the most important thing b/c the next motion could be for a gun! Good Luck, KoKid
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
meeko1 said:
I have a Motion trial on Tuesday and looking for some help on Ch. 90-13... I Observed an airfreshner hanging from the rear view mirror. Stopped the car, walked up and smelled marijuana. I asked for License and Registration, his reply was his license was suspended. I asked him out of the car and placed him under arrest. I know there going after the reason for the stop.. I'm looking for some help with this... Any good lines that anyone has used on this section on the stand... Please let me know....
Ya, instead of pulling people over for AIR FRESHENERS, try to find a real criminal that has nothing to do with Ch. 90. Must be a tough place to work.
 

·
Needs more complaints
Joined
·
4,309 Posts
I believe we just recieved a fax from our legal updates, that an air freshener hanging from the mirror is not PC for a stop. Point #2, you arrested a guy for suspended? Unless your supervisors tell you otherwise, just issue a criminal summons for that.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
885 Posts
SinePari said:
I believe we just recieved a fax from our legal updates, that an air freshener hanging from the mirror is not PC for a stop. Point #2, you arrested a guy for suspended? Unless your supervisors tell you otherwise, just issue a criminal summons for that.
Correct. Its been established that the air freshener isn't PC. The fact that it impedes operation by inhibiting a clear view to the road and the vehicle's surroundings IS PC for the stop. A lot of things in and of their own arent PC, it's the cause/effect relationship that makes citable offences which = proper stop.

Good luck tomorow in court, we're all curious 1) how you articulate the reason for stop, and 2) the outcome

re: Arrest vs summons...
Wouldnt this be department SOP specific? The dept I dispatch for has SOP of arrest, and I can atest that this is the case with a few depts in the area....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Hi sunshine!

Wow, you never hear firefighters shit on each other like this. FYI: Plenty of departments that are a lot bigger than yours use minor m/v stops to catch bad guys. If you're whining over how busy you are there are plenty of small towns taking laterals.

The only way this guy is ever going to find a criminal where he works is if they turn themselves in or by doing ch 90. While I agree the air freshener stop is BS I wouldn't shit on the guy for trying and I wouldn't put him down because he works someplace quieter than you do.

Maybe a few pointers on how to catch criminals in places where you have zero pedestrian traffic and you don't have tons of assholes just hanging around on every corner would be more helpful.

Unless you're just trolling... In that case - I give this one an 8 out of 10. :t:

ratwatcher said:
Ya, instead of pulling people over for AIR FRESHENERS, try to find a real criminal that has nothing to do with Ch. 90. Must be a tough place to work.
 

·
Subscribing Member
Joined
·
3,427 Posts
Samurai,
Very well said! I absolutely agree.

I do work a bigger department where there are dirtbags hanging out all over the place and I agree, there is nothing wrong with using your initiative to look for bad guys. Even if that means using minor infractions as PC. Of course this should only apply when looking for rightious dirt bags and not the every day Joe Citizen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
meeko1 said:
Thank You all for the comments to my question. I'm still a Rookie trying to learn. It is my opinion if you dont go out and try you will not succeed. I was refered to this site by a friend. My friend said that there are a great bunch of people that interact here. Thats why I asked this question. I know what i did was questionable. I just wanted to hear some comments and maybe somebody with much more knowledge then me could help me out.... STAY SAFE
As one of my fellow brothers stated. it's a bullshit stop. Unless you have a reasonable belief something is wrong with that M/V. Yes I have heard it before. "Car stops lead to more" Make sure the stop is a good one. Not the poor bastard who just worked a 12 hour day, is tired, maybe having some problems with the wife or kids. And along comes one of us, Blue lights flashing. "Sir the reason I stopped you was because of that air freshener hanging from your mirror" Think about it! Were are own worst enimies
 
G

·
SinePari said:
Point #2, you arrested a guy for suspended? Unless your supervisors tell you otherwise, just issue a criminal summons for that.
That decision is left up to us, and it's very rarely abused. If someone has a horrendous driver's history, I might hook them for a suspended license, just to give them a wakeup call. If they have a poor attitude, they get hooked, regardless.

It's actually easier (less time-consuming) for us to make an arrest than issue a criminal summons, since the court complaints are automated for arrests, while they have to be hand-printed for criminal complaints.
 

·
Needs more complaints
Joined
·
4,309 Posts
Delta784 said:
It's actually easier (less time-consuming) for us to make an arrest than issue a criminal summons, since the court complaints are automated for arrests, while they have to be hand-printed for criminal complaints.
Our crim-apps are on the computer, but if we don't take them directly to court, we'd have to take them to a regional lock up, and every shift we get about 5 or 6 suspended/revoked/unlicensed. We couldn't handle the volume in the barracks when the court closes after 3pm just for 90-10 or 90-23, therefore we just summons. They get a court date+no show=warrant for us to stop them next time.

Maybe if there are other criminal violations in addition we would arrest...such as failure to stop for the po-leece.
 
G

·
SinePari said:
Our crim-apps are on the computer, but if we don't take them directly to court, we'd have to take them to a regional lock up, and every shift we get about 5 or 6 suspended/revoked/unlicensed. We couldn't handle the volume in the barracks when the court closes after 3pm just for 90-10 or 90-23, therefore we just summons. They get a court date+no show=warrant for us to stop them next time.
I can see that. We have to go to the station to write the criminal complaint anyway, so it's just as easy to bring the suspended operator in with us. The paperwork for us is the same for an arrest or complaint, and as I mentioned, the court complaint application is automatically generated from the booking computer after an arrest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow, This site is great.... I go from being a go-getter to a complete jackoff... Well Thank You for all the good comments and Thank You for the negative comments... The outcome of the motion was dismissed like i thought. But if we cant help each other who can we help.... The Town i work for is pretty small approx. 4500 residents... Somedays thats all we have is M/V stops to pass the time.. You can only cruise the high rent neighborhoods so much before you drive yourself nuts..... Stay Safe
 

·
Chapter 90 Enforcer
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
meeko1, you sound like the Officer that had the 90-13 case I heard at EBDC a month or so ago. Hmmm...

In regards to suspended licenses, like a few others said, its just easier to cuff and transport to station, do the paperwork, call bail commish, and have a nice day. Same amount of time and add to the Departments stats. And for anyone that works for a small town, stats are EVERYTHING when trying to get more money in the budget.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top