After a lower court denied his appeal, a Dayton man was given a second chance from the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals.
The appellate court ruled Dukes was charged after an unlawful search and seizure took place, violating his Fourth Amendment rights.
Edward Dukes was convicted of possession of crack cocaine after a Dayton Police officer initially pulled over the car he was driving in for excessive unpaid parking tickets.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he noticed an open container and then subsequently discovered the cocaine on Dukes’ side of the car after a search of the vehicle.
Dukes and his attorneys fought in court on the premise that the Dayton police officer had conducted and unlawful search and seizure during the traffic stop.
In 2012 the Dayton Police Department sanctioned a new rule to help crack down on unpaid parking tickets. The City of Dayton was owed more than $750,000 in unpaid parking tickets. Police were then allowed to pull over and tow vehicles which had more than two unpaid tickets.
The officer who pulled over the car Dukes was riding in said he did not observe a traffic violation or criminal activity prior to pulling over the car. Therefore, the Second Court of Appeals ruled the evidence obtained during the search must be suppressed because the stop did not warrant a search and seizure.
The reversal of the initial court’s decision is permanent and the State of Ohio cannot further appeal proceedings against Dukes.