Ellis Law Offices Gets Court of Appeals Victory and OWI Conviction Overturned 

Our client, Joe, was driving his black truck on a gravel road in rural Warren County.  A Warren County deputy was investigating a report of a white truck with loud exhaust in the area.  As Joe traveled westbound, the deputy observed him from the bottom of a hill.  The deputy pulled head on into Joe’s lane of travel and blocked Joe’s truck with his patrol vehicle.  The deputy’s stated reason for stopping Joe was that his vehicle “swerved into [his] lane and swerved back.”  The Officer testified that he believed Joe “was going to hit [him] head on.”  After watching the video and investigating the case, attorneys from Ellis Law Offices, P.C. filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence arguing that the traffic stop was unconstitutional and was not supported by probable cause or reasonable grounds.  Despite the inconsistencies between the deputy’s testimony and what the video showed, the trial court denied the motion and ultimately convicted Joe of Operating While Intoxicated.

Ellis Law Offices, P.C. filed an appeal.  The Court of Appeals reviewed the evidence and found that the Motion to Suppress evidence should have been granted.  The Court of Appeals found that the traffic stop was illegal and violated the Defendant’s constitutional rights.  Specifically, the Court of Appeals stated that “the video from the officer’s patrol car does not corroborate his testimony” and also found “it difficult to understand the Officer’s avowed fear of being hit head-on as he subsequently pulled his car to a stop right in front of [the Defendant] and in [the Defendant’s] lane of traffic.”

Ultimately, Joe’s conviction was overturned.

Click here to read the Court of Appeals Decision.

Ashley Allen