The DWI Guys scored another victory for a client who thought there was no chance of winning. In this case, we challenged the initial traffic stop. Our client drove into the parking lot of a closed business at 2:30am, temporarily stopped his vehicle and turned off his headlights. He didn’t realize that an officer was already sitting in the parking lot with his squad lights out, watching traffic at a nearby intersection. The officer found it suspicious that a vehicle entered a parking lot of a closed business and turned out its headlights, so he turned on his lights and pulled behind our client. Once our client saw the officer, he started to drive off but the officer turned on his emergency lights and turned on the siren briefly to initiate a traffic stop.
We argued that the officer had no basis to initiate this traffic stop, but opposing counsel disagreed. They argued that the officer had a lawful basis to stop the vehicle because a local city ordinance made it a misdemeanor for anyone to be present in the parking lot of a closed business. Any violation of the law can justify a traffic stop. However, we argued that the temporary entry into the parking lot was not enough to violate the ordinance. The judge agreed with our argument and rescinded the license revocation from our client’s driving record. This is just another example of why it makes sense to retain an attorney who won’t give up on your case even if you feel like there’s nothing to challenge.