PEOPLE V. E.F.
E.F. was arrested after driving with his headlights off. After being curbed, the officer’s smelled cannabis and ordered all occupants of the vehicle out of the car. E.F. owned the vehicle and was driving. Upon searching the vehicle a firearm was recovered in the center console and E.F. was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons (720 ILCS 5/24-1), a class 4 felony punishable by 1-3 years in prison. At preliminary hearing attorney Purav Bhatt forced the police to admit that they never saw E.F. in possession of the firearm, highlighted errors in the police officer’s report, forced the officer to admit that all five (5) occupants had access to the firearm, that the weapon was not loaded and that no one in the vehicle was smoking or consuming cannabis prior to the stop. The court dismissed all charges against E.F.