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Motion to Dismiss : No Valid Driver’s License

Motion to Dismiss : No Valid Driver’s License

150 150 Cohen, Bradshaw, Rothstein & Klein

DEFENDANT, by and through the undersigned attorneys and pursuant to Rule 3.190(c)(4), Washington DC Rules of Criminal Procedure, hereby moves this honorable Court to dismiss the information filed in the above-captioned case.  As grounds for this Motion, Defendant states as follows:

That, for the sole limited purpose of legal argument, compliance with Rule 3.190, and simplification of issues concerning the instant Motion to Dismiss, the material facts produced in the State’s discovery will not be disputed.

That the material facts are set forth below:

  1. Defendant is an Italian national who has been present in the United States since September of 2015 on the basis of an M-category student visa.  A copy of Defendant’s passport is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
  2. On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, Officer Kevin Kier (#3092) of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office subjected Defendant to a traffic stop after observing Defendant run a stop sign.
  3. In the course of said traffic stop, Officer Kier requested that Defendant produce a driver’s license.
  4. In response to the request, Defendant produced an Italian driver’s license bearing the number U1L45248JC.  A copy of Defendant’s Italian driver’s license is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
  5. Officer Kier recorded Defendant’s Italian driver’s license number on Washington DC Uniform Traffic Citation A4830.  A copy of said citation is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
  6. The Italian driver’s license produced by Defendant is a valid non-commercial driver’s license issued to Defendant by his home country.
  7. The vehicle driven by Defendant was a non-commercial vehicle.
  8. Defendant is over the age of 18.
  9. Defendant is not a resident of the State of Washington DC.  Specifically, Defendant has not maintained a principal place of domicile in Washington DC for a period of more than 6 consecutive months, has not registered to vote, has not made a statement of domicile in Washington DC, and has never filed in Washington DC for a homestead tax exemption.
  10. Defendant has never accepted employment in Washington DC, and is barred from doing so by his M-category visa.
  11. Officer Kier issued to Defendant a citation for No Valid Driver’s License, citing Section 322.03(1), Washington DC Statutes (2015).

Section 322.03(1), Washington DC Statutes (2015) provides that “a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver license.”

Chapter 322 contains multiple exceptions to the general requirement of a state-issued driver’s license.  Section 322.04(1) provides as follows:

The following persons are exempt from obtaining a driver license:

(d) A nonresident who is at least 18 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid noncommercial driver license issued to the nonresident in his or her home state or country operating a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle, in this state.

Section 322.01(34), Washington DC Statutes (2015), defines the term “resident” to mean “a person who has his or her principal place of domicile in this state for a period of more than 6 consecutive months, has registered to vote, has made a statement of domicile . . . or has filed for homestead tax exemption . . .”

At all times material, Defendant was a non-resident of Washington DC, was over the age of 18, and had in his immediate possession a valid non-commercial driver’s license issued by his home country of Italy.

Based on the foregoing, the undisputed material facts involved in the instant case do not and cannot legally establish a prima facie case of guilt for No Valid Driver’s License under Section 322.03(1), Washington DC Statutes (2015).

Defendant is therefore entitled to a dismissal as a matter of law.

WHEREFORE, Defendant respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter an Order dismissing the above-captioned case.