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Clinical Student Wins Major Motion in Obstruction Case

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the 17th Circuit Court in Winnebago County, IL, NIU College of Law Senior Law Student Jordan Emmert drafted, argued and won a motion to quash arrest resulting in the dismissal of his client’s criminal charge of resisting or obstructing a peace officer. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine or two years’ probation. In addition, it carries a mandatory sentence of not less than 100 hours of community service or a minimum of 48 consecutive hours imprisonment. 

Mr. Emmert conducted a direct examination of the arresting officer and presented a closing argument to the court which included relevant case law. He countered the State’s interpretation and supporting case arguing the State’s supporting case was distinguishable on the facts. 

The motion required analysis and interpretation of the arresting officer’s police report; the definition of a traffic stop; the Terry v. Ohio case and its progeny regarding a reasonable, articulable suspicion to detain for investigation; and the existence of probable cause to make an arrest. Judge Brian Dean Shore found Mr. Emmert’s legal arguments and supporting cases persuasive in making the court's determination. 

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