FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Pinellas County; Frank Quesada,
Melissa A. Loesch of Roger Futerman & Associates,
Clearwater, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Elba Caridad
Martin, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Allenbrand, also known as Terri Graham, appeals her judgment
and sentences for (1) felony DUI (third within ten years) and
(2) misdemeanor driving while license suspended or revoked.
Allenbrand entered a guilty plea and specifically reserved
her right to appeal the denial of her dispositive motion to
suppress. Because the officer lacked a reasonable suspicion
of criminal activity to support an investigatory stop, the
trial court should have granted her motion to suppress. Thus,
we reverse her judgment and sentences and remand for
officer who conducted the investigatory stop was the only
witness at the suppression hearing. The officer received a
dispatch at around 1:00 a.m. regarding a dark pickup truck
with a loud muffler in the area of 46th Avenue Northeast and
Shore Acres Boulevard Northeast in St. Petersburg. An
anonymous caller stated that the vehicle "had been in
the area for about an hour driving back and forth between
49th Avenue Northeast and 48th Avenue Northeast." Notes
on a second anonymous call only indicate that the
"[s]econd call referenced the same vehicle."
officer described the neighborhood as "Shore Acres or
Snell Isle." He arrived in the area about ten minutes
after receiving the dispatch and positioned his cruiser near
the entrance to Shore Acres on the main road that goes in and
out of the neighborhood. The officer observed a dark pickup
truck and heard a loud exhaust. He estimated that he could
hear the exhaust from 50 to 100 feet away. He pulled his
cruiser behind the vehicle and saw it stop abruptly for
several seconds in the roadway. There were no obstructions in
front of the vehicle. The vehicle then continued on and made
a turn on Shores Acres Boulevard Northeast. The officer
conducted a stop of the vehicle. Allenbrand was the driver,
and the officer noticed signs of impairment. Allenbrand was
ultimately charged with DUI and driving with a revoked or
conclusion of the suppression hearing, the trial court took
the matter under advisement. At a later hearing, the court
announced its ruling and stated "that there was enough
suspicion to stop the car." The trial court explained
its grounds for denying the motion as follows: "There
were two complaints, both talking about the same thing and
about what was it, 20 minutes later law enforcement arrived
on the scene and confirmed that, in fact, a vehicle with a
loud muffler was there; a stop that resulted in an arrest for
appeal, our review of a ruling on a motion to suppress
regarding the application of the law to the facts is de novo.
State v. Teamer, 151 So.3d 421, 425 (Fla. 2014).
"Whether a reasonable suspicion exists under a given set
of facts is a question of law reviewable by the de novo
standard." Beahan v. State, 41 So.3d 1000, 1002
(Fla. 1st DCA 2010).
enforcement "officer may reasonably detain a citizen
temporarily if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that a
person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a
crime." Teamer, 151 So.3d at 425 (quoting
Popple v. State, 626 So.2d 185, 186 (Fla. 1993));
see also § 901.151(2), Fla. Stat. (2016). To
avoid a violation of an individual's Fourth Amendment
rights, the suspicion of criminal activity must be
well-founded and articulable. Popple, 626 So.2d at
186. An unparticularized or bare suspicion or a hunch is
insufficient. Teamer, 151 So.3d at 426; Love v
State, 706 So.2d 923, 924 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998). To
determine if reasonable suspicion exists, the court must
consider the totality of the circumstances based on the
viewpoint of an objectively reasonable law enforcement
officer. See Teamer, 151 So.3d at 426.
Love, this court determined that a deputy did not
have a founded suspicion to stop a vehicle. 706 So.2d at 924.
This court stated, "We are unwilling to hold that
driving slowly late at night, in a type of vehicle that is
often stolen, in a neighborhood that has had burglaries at
some unspecified time in the past will justify an
investigatory stop." Id.
in McDavid v. State, 889 So.2d 145, 145-46 (Fla. 1st
DCA 2004), an officer twice saw the defendant drive slowly
around the block in a residential neighborhood around 4 a.m.
The officer suspected that the defendant was "either
casing the neighborhood or seeking to engage in drug activity
based on the fact that there had been recent burglaries in
the area due to the high narcotic activity there."
Id. at 146. After following him for ten to twelve
blocks, the officer stopped the defendant. The officer
admitted that nothing indicated that the defendant had been
involved in any burglary or drug activity and that the
defendant had not committed any traffic violation. Rather,
the officer believed that the defendant "looked out of
place." Id. The appellate court determined that
the facts were insufficient to "demonstrate a
well-founded suspicion of criminal activity to justify an
investigative detention." Id.; see also
White v. State, 737 So.2d 1117, 1118 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999)
(determining that there was no reasonable suspicion when a
car with its headlights off was seen driving back and forth
by a closed marina at approximately 3:30 a.m., the car turned
into a motel parking lot adjacent to the marina, an occupant
of the car yelled profanities when a security guard
approached the car, and the car then drove away).
Beahan, the appellate court determined that an
officer did not have a reasonable suspicion that a driver was
impaired. 41 So.3d at 1002. He was driving slowly in a
residential neighborhood known for drug transactions.
Id. at 1001. The driver "stopped from time to
time" on the side of the street but was not driving
erratically. Id. at 1002. He then made a U-turn in
which he drove over the curb. Id. at 1001. In
addition to determining that there was no reasonable
suspicion of a crime, the appellate court pointed out that
the State did not attempt to justify the stop on the basis of
a traffic violation for an illegal U-turn. Id. at
1003 ("The sole argument made on ...