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Stop Based on “Loud Music” Statute is No Good

On 6/2/12, Jude Lawson (not his real name) was stopped at about 1:00 A.M. in Fort Pierce. The deputy claimed that Jude was playing loud music in his pickup truck in violation of Florida Statute 316.3045. The deputy discovered that Jude’s license was suspended for failing to pay child support. Judge was arrested for DWLS with knowledge and resisting arrest without violence.

Jude had already plead no contest to the DWLS charge with the “help” of the Public Defender’s (PD) office. The PD’s office never told Jude that his license would be revoked for five years as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). Nor did the PD’s office tell Jude that the loud music statute had been declared unconstitutional.

Fort Pierce Driving Violation Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland was retained on 5/20/13. Garland immediately realized that the stop was “no good” based upon State v. Catalono, 60 So.3d 1139 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2011), and State v. Catalono, 104 So.3d 1069 (Fla. 2012). Garland filed motions to withdraw the plea and to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the illegal stop.

The motion to withdraw plea was granted on 6/20/13. The State dropped the DWLS and resisting charges on 7/1/13, the day before the hearing on the motion to suppress.

Jude was able to avoid convictions on these charges (they were dropped), and he was able to keep a valid driver license.