Commonwealth v. Crowley-ChesterAnnotate this Case
Police officers recovered a loaded firearm from a motor vehicle after impounding and conducting an inventory search of the vehicle. Defendant was subsequently charged with carrying a firearm without a license and possession of a firearm or ammunition without a firearm identification card. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the officers’ decision to impound and inventory the motor vehicle was not reasonable. A district court judge allowed the motion to suppress, concluding that impoundment was improper based on its findings that the vehicle was not in danger of damage or theft. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order allowing the motion to suppress, holding that it was not reasonable for the police to impound the vehicle for the purpose of protecting it from theft or vandalism, and impoundment was not warranted to protect the public.