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String of Success Stories for STONE LOCKETT

Lee Lockett scored big wins recently for DUI clients in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. One Appellate victory and two trial court suppression motions granted in the same week. This is the first in a series of posts on these hard fought victories. 

Wrong Way? So when is driving the wrong way on a one way actaully unlawful? 
"Every time" you say? Well guess again. A local court recently sided with STONE LOCKETT and has held for the first time that a motorist cannot be lawfully stopped for driving the wrong way--even down a major thoroughfare such as Main Street in Downtown Jacksonville--where signage indicating the correct direction of travel are improperly placed.  

The case (State of Florida v. Moore) stems from a JSO officer stopping a motorist who ultimately hired STONE LOCKETT after his arrest for DUI. The stop was based on a wrong way violation when the man traveled northbound in the southbound lanes along Main Street in Downtown Jacksonville. After intense investigations by Lockett and his defense team revealed that Main street has poorly constructed signage all along the main corridor, a motion to suppress the stop as being unlawful was filed and heard by the trial judge.

Lockett brought in witnesses and photographic evidence at the hearing and established that at no time during the client's traveling along Main Street northbound was he met with signs indicating that he was going the wrong way. Lockett argued that his client, who immediately turned off a side street when he saw the blue lights, could not be thereafter stopped under the circumstances and that all evidence that flowed from the stop (e.g., sobriety exercises, breath test) should be suppressed. 

The officer even testified that he was aware of such poor signage, but never put that in the arrest report. The state argued that it was not relevant and that anytime a person is seen traveling the wrong way, an officer has a legal basis to perform a stop and subsequently investigate and arrest the person for DUI.

The Court, in siding with the defense reasoned that "This Court finds that it was not possible in this case for anyone traveling along Mr. Moore's path to have encountered any traffic control devices offering any type of designated direction." The Court offered a very detailed analysis of the relevant statutes dealing with one way streets and agreed wtih Lockett that all the evidence of the DUI should be suppressed.

The state then appealed the decision to the circuit court. After oral arguments were presented by each side, an Opinion dated March 3, 2017 was entered affirming the trial judge and upheld the suppression of the evidence. 

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