Despite finding the ammunition in his residence, Terry was able to successfully argue that the way in which the ammunition was discovered by law enforcement violated both the Illinois and United States Constitutions and decisions of both the U.S. Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court, including the Fifth District’s decision in People v. Robbins, 369 N.E.2d 577, 580-581 (Ill. App. Ct. 5th Dist. 1977). Terry’s review of the discovery in this particular case revealed that the officer found the ammunition concealed in a purple “Crown Royal” bag, a closed container, which is used to package “Crown Royal” whiskey. However, the “Crown Royal” bag was located in a safe in an unoccupied bedroom in a closet.
Terry attacked the State’s intent to introduce this evidence by arguing that the search that led to the discovery of the ammunition was conducted without a search warrant; was not in “plain view” because the objects seized were not themselves in plain view; that officers had no right to be in a position for the view; that the objects were not discovered inadvertently by the officer; that the incriminating nature of the objects was not immediately apparent to the viewer and were concealed in a closed container; that the search violated the defendant’s reasonable expectation of privacy; that the search was without the consent of the defendant; and, that the search was without the lawful consent of a person authorized to consent to a search of the premises.
But, this particular individual’s legal problems were not over with the dismissal of unlawful use of a weapon charge against him. Terry had to still convince a jury that the Defendant did not commit the crime of aggravated battery of a police officer when the State accused the defendant of pushing one of the police officers who had responded to the scene. At trial, Terry convinced the jury that his client did not intentionally or knowingly contact the police officer in an insulting or provoking way because he had been blinded by pepper-spray by an officer who had been called to the scene where he and his girlfriend lived at the request of the defendant because of his girlfriend’s jealous ex-boyfriend who had come to their home for the sole purpose of starting a fight with the defendant.
Cases such as these are rare because there is often not evidence to suppress. However, by hiring an experienced Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer who is educated, knows the law, and has been trained to spot issues such as these gives any defendant a fighting chance. Results of course will vary and absolutely no attorney can change the facts. The facts are what they are. It is simply the job of a good attorney to present the facts in the most favorable way.