final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Michael J. Orlando, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Virginia Murphy, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Mark J. Hamel and
Matthew Steven Ocksrider, Assistant Attorney Generals, West
Palm Beach, for appellee.
Child appeals the court's final judgment withholding
adjudication of delinquency. On appeal, the Child argues the
court erred in its conclusion that his initial encounter with
the arresting officer was consensual and, therefore, erred in
issuing the resulting order denying his motion to suppress.
We agree that the initial encounter between the officer and
the Child was not consensual and, further, that the record
lacked any evidence which would have given the officer
reasonable suspicion to stop the Child. Therefore, we reverse
and remand with instructions to grant the motion to suppress.
detective responded to a call regarding a suspicious vehicle
around apartments. Upon arriving in the area, the detective
heard voices coming from the adjacent city park and, given
the time of day-9:00 pm-he decided to investigate. He saw a
group of people walk away as he approached, and requested a
fellow officer to assist.
the officer arrived, he instructed the group to stop but only
the Child complied. The officer testified that "upon his
arrival . . . he stopped the Child . . . as he was exiting
the park area of the apartment complex." After a
discussion, the officer patted down the Child and discovered
a bag of marijuana in his pocket.
Child moved to suppress this evidence, arguing that the
officer lacked the legal authority to detain him. He argued
the evidence was found as a result of a detention without
probable cause or other legal basis. Therefore, he argued it
must be suppressed.
trial court denied the motion, finding the initial encounter
between the officer and the Child to be consensual, and that
the officer's testimony was clear. Based upon the denial
of the motion to suppress, the Child entered a plea of no
contest, expressly reserving his right to appeal.
review a court's ruling on a motion to suppress under a
mixed standard of review, deferring to the court for its
findings of fact, and reviewing conclusions of law de
novo. Porter v. State, 765 So.2d 76, 77 (Fla.
4th DCA 2000) (en banc).
the issue in this case is whether the Child was entitled to
the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution in the initial interaction with
the officer and, if so, whether the Fourth Amendment was
violated. To determine whether the ...