Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Make sure your license is valid before you drive

In a recently appealed case to the Federal 8th Circuit, a man was brought down by his suspended driver's license. This case helps to illustrates how law enforcement may use information from one source to lead to an investigation on a more serious offense. Searches by law enforcement is an area of law that is often contested. To properly contest a search and to determine if law enforcement violated your 4th Amendment Rights, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Patrick Flanagan offers free consultations. You can reach him at 651-291-5453; 763-786-5324; email:;

United States v. Joe Franklin, No. 09-1549 (W.D. Arkansas).

In May 2008, a confidential informant notified police that Frankling was supplying cocaine to a street dealer, which led officers to begin to monitor him. Later, police observed the street dealer enter and exit Franklin's house before meeting with the informant to complete drug deals. During the investigation, officers obtained Franklin's bank records from the previous 8 months, which revealed more than $145,000 in total transactions. Then, on June 19, 2008, after a discussion between one of the investigating detectives and a police officer with the local police department, who knew Franklin's driver's license had been suspended, Franklin was stopped after being observed driving his vehicle. During the stop Franklin was arrested and officers discovered cocaine on his person. Thereafter, a judge issued a warrant for a search of Franklin's residence which revealed incriminating evidence.

The Eighth Circuit held that based on the information discussed between the investigating detective and local police officer, there was probable cause to make a warrantless arrest because the officer could reasonably believe Franklin was dealing cocaine. Also, the Eighth Circuit concluded that the warrant to search Franklin's home was supported by probable cause,including statements by the informant, surveillance of Franklin's house, and the suspicious transactions in Franklin's bank account.

If you believe that you may have a case that involves a search issue, contact Patrick Flanagan at the Flanagan Law Office immediately. Office: 763-786-5324; 651-291-5453; email:;

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