Appellate Advocacy Brief Writing Sample

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 156
  • Published : April 29, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA
THIRD DISTRICT

Case No. 3D10-678

THEODORE GARZA
Appellant,
v.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA,
Appellee.

ON APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE ELEVENTH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA

INITIAL BRIEF OF APPELLEE

BILL McCOLLUM
Attorney General
State of Florida

_____________________
XXXXXXXXXXXX
Assistant Attorney General
Florida Bar No. 000416
Office of Attorney General
Rivergate Plaza, Suite 610
444 Brickell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131
Tel: 305-756-4321

QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress cocaine obtained from Mr. Garza during a traffic stop, which was reasonably delayed through the time of the search, while Mr. Clements called for backup and had probable cause based upon (1) the suspects’ location in a high crime area; (2) the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from that vehicle; and (3) Mr. Garza’s nervousness, sweating, and deferential behavior to a suspected drug dealer.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Citationsiii
Standard of Reviewiv
Introduction1
Statement of Case1
Statement of Facts2
Summary of Argument5
Argument8
The Motion To Suppress the cocaine found on Mr. Garza was properly denied because Mr. Garza’s detention was for reasonable time, and Mr. Clements had probable cause to search Mr Garza where he displayed nervous behavior combined with the odor of burnt marijuana.8 Conclusion15

Certificate of Service15
Certificate of Compliance16

TABLE OF CITATIONS

CasesPage(s)
Connor v. State,iv, 8
803 So. 2d 598 (Fla. 2001).
D.A. v. State,5, 8, 9, 10
10 So. 3d 674 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009).
Maryland v. Wilson,5, 9
519 U.S. 408 (1997).
State v. Betz,6, 12-13
815 So. 2d 627 (Fla. 2002).
Terry v. Ohio,
388 U.S. 1868 (1968).
U.S. v. Davis,9
343 Fed. Appx. 589 (11th Cir. 2009).
U.S. v. Gil,10
204 F.3d 1347 (11th Cir. 2000).
U.S. v. Richardson,14
385 F.3d 625 (6th Cir. 2004).
U.S. v. Sharpe,10
470 U.S. 675 (1985).
U.S. v. Sokolow, 13
490 U.S. 1 (1989).
U.S. v. Williams,6
967 So. 2d 941 (Fla. DCA 2007).
Other Authorities
Amend. IV,8
U.S. Const.
Art. I, §128
Fla. Const. 
STANDARD OF REVIEW

When reviewing a trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence, an appellate court reviews it as a mixed question of law and fact. Facts are reviewed only for clear error, with due weight to inferences from these facts by law enforcement officers, and great deference given to the trial court’s ruling. Connor v. State, 803 So.2d 598, 605 (Fla. 2001). Application of the law to the facts is considered de novo. Id.

INTRODUCTION

Appellant Theodore Garza was the defendant in the trial court and Appellee State of Florida was the prosecution. The parties will be referred to in this brief as “Mr. Garza” and “the State.” STATEMENT OF CASE

On June 17, 2010, an information was filed in the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, charging that on June 16, 2010, Mr. Garza committed the offense of unlawful possession of cocaine. (R. 10.) On June 28, 2010, Mr. Garza filed a motion to suppress the cocaine seized by the arresting officer. (R. 12.) Following a hearing on July 13, 2010, the trial court adjudicated Mr. Garza guilty. (R. 16-18.) On July 15, 2010, the trial court denied Mr. Garza’s motion to suppress the cocaine evidence. (R. 13.) During the sentencing on July 22, 2010, Mr. Garza entered a plea of nolo contendre, and the trial court issued a judgment remanding Mr. Garza into custody and sentencing him to the agreed upon eighteen (18) months with twenty (20) days credit for time served. (R. 16-18.) Mr. Garza filed a notice of appeal on July 23, 2010. (R. 19.)  

STATEMENT OF FACTS
On June 16, 2010, at approximately 3:00 PM, officer Frank Clements (“Mr. Clements”) observed a vehicle, within which Mr. Garza...
tracking img