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SCOTUS: Police can't extend traffic stop to seek evidence of unrelated crimes

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posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:11 PM
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Just saw this news come out. If what I'm reading is correct, police cannot extend a traffic stop in order to wait for a drug dog to arrive to look for evidence of an unrelated offense. It looks like this falls under the "Search" part of "Unlawful search and seizure"

www.policeone.com...


Supreme Court said police may not extend a traffic stop to seek evidence of crimes unrelated to the offense that prompted initial stop



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Tuesday that police may not extend an ordinary traffic stop to seek evidence of crimes unrelated to the offense that prompted officers to pull a vehicle over.


The case arose from a traffic stop in Nebraska. Police pulled a vehicle over for driving on the shoulder, wrote a warning to the driver, but then ended up calling in the K-9.


The justices voted 6-3 in favor of a driver who was found to have methamphetamine in his car. Dennys Rodriguez was issued a warning for driving on the shoulder of a Nebraska highway and then made to wait less than 10 minutes for officers to walk a drug-sniffing dog around the car. The dog alerted and a search of the vehicle turned up the drugs.


Ginsburg basically said that, in the event of a traffic stop, the officers are supposed to ensure that the vehicle is being operated safely, checking DL, checking for warrants, etc... Calling in a drug dog on a traffic stop doesn't qualify as ensuring safe operation of a vehicle. (Im assuming that's unless the driver appears intoxicated, or it's blatantly obvious there's drugs in the car.)


Police may typically inspect a driver's license, ask for the registration and proof of insurance and check for outstanding warrants because they all are aimed at ensuring that vehicles are operated safely, Ginsburg said.



"A dog sniff, unlike those stock inquiries, lacks the same tie to roadway safety," she said.



The precise amount of time involved is unimportant, she said. "A traffic stop becomes unlawful if prolonged beyond the time in fact needed to complete all traffic-based inquiries," Ginsburg said.


From personal experience, I have been pulled over a few times for traffic related issues and had the drug dogs come search my car. Never had any trouble with them though, and never ended up getting a ticket either.
edit on 21-4-2015 by buni11687 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:37 PM
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Meh all they have to do is generate some reasonable suspicion to go further.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:40 PM
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Text
a reply to: buni11687

But should you have?

I'm sorry this case won, with Meth being involved, but I'm glad it did. We have had some serious problems lately with our local police pulling this crap pretty much on any young driver. It needs to stop.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: chiefsmom




I'm sorry this case won, with Meth being involved, but I'm glad it did. We have had some serious problems lately with our local police pulling this crap pretty much on any young driver. It needs to stop.


Agreed. One of the local PD's near me used to do the exact same thing. They targeted teens/young adults and it eventually got to the point to where the parents of the teens began complaining to the local PD and the news got involved to. Once a few stories ran on air about this, the police finally stopped doing this.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:56 PM
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Good to know. I have been pulled over and searched several times.
La Grange and Williamson counties are the worst.
I have long dread locks and they automatically assume I have weed on me.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:58 PM
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So how does this impact DUI checkpoints?



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: chiefsmom

This is overall a good decision, my personal observations traveling interstate in my area for 15 years backs decision.

Worst example was a vehicle stop where 4 officers and a K9 unit were present.

The K9 officer was kicking the dog in its hindquarters while at same time doing hand signals in an attempt to get the dog to signal on the vehicle, the other officers were in full view of that activity but driver that was stopped could not see it as it was being done at rear passenger side of the vehicle.

It was quite obvious and blatant what these officers were doing - outright violating 4th amendment.

Time after time over the years same department was pulling people over and calling in K9 just like the case decided at the SC.

Guess I'll see if anything changes here. The PD I see derive much revenue from civil forfeiture games.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:09 PM
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originally posted by: MysticPearl
So how does this impact DUI checkpoints?


it wouldn't since a DUI check is consistent with ensuring that the vehicle is being operated safely. but what it does mean is that they can't use that as an excuse to search for drugs unless you appear to be under the influence of said drugs. or to look for cash to seize. in other words to use a DUI check as it was intended, to deal with people driving drunk, and nothing else.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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So how many convictions is this going to overturn?

How much money in compensation will this pay out



Burnnnn!!!!



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: bullcat

I would guess to say that you'll suddenly see an increase in "equipment malfunctions" while checking licenses, etc.
Miraculously, once the malfunction is resolved, the K-9 unit will be there.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:38 PM
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That's still going to increase the time for a traffic stop . They will call the dog and fart around forever writing your ticket.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:44 PM
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originally posted by: peter_kandra
a reply to: bullcat

I would guess to say that you'll suddenly see an increase in "equipment malfunctions" while checking licenses, etc.
Miraculously, once the malfunction is resolved, the K-9 unit will be there.


Sure a lot of the dash cams, body mics and body cameras are 1) obscured, 2) malfunctioning or 3) broken.

They are simply CORRUPT and UNTRUSTWORTHY.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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originally posted by: Greathouse

That's still going to increase the time for a traffic stop . They will call the dog and fart around forever writing your ticket.



Let them, just remind them the more they keep you back, the less pay you get, and thus the less taxes you have to pay due to a lower pay check and thus less budget for the cops.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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Wow the supreme court ruled on the side of a citizen, this is unbelievable!!



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 03:06 PM
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This will put some more canines out of work in the United States (you do know the dogs volunteer, right?, and aren't forced to do the work they do like some kind of slave dog), where drug sniffing canines are a dying breed (pun maybe intended) in states like Colorado, Washington, and Alaska anyway.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 03:09 PM
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i smelled what i believed to be a strong odor of marijuana when i approached the vehicle.
i then called for a K9 unit.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 04:02 PM
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And how this decision was not 9-0 escapes me, but remember the names of the enemies of liberty.

Derek



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 04:06 PM
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Try having am Rx for your kids in your purse when they have a different last name. Concerta, Stratera... they're all Meth. Police have to have better things to do.



posted on Apr, 21 2015 @ 05:34 PM
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Judicial rulings like this are meaningless.

Scenario 1: A cop pulls you over, gives you a ticket, then decides to hold you until the K9 unit arrives. K9 finds nothing and they send you on your way. Who do you complain to? Call the police? Sure, they will launch a "full investigation"
Call a prosecutor? He'll tell you to file a complaint so the police can launch a "full investigation." Call a lawyer? A hefty consultation fee later he'll tell you that for big bucks you might be able to sue, but you have no witnesses, no evidence, etc. Best to forget the whole thing.

Scenario 2: Same as before, but you tell the officer he has no right to detain you. You are about to drive away when a half dozen guns pointed in your direction convince you to stay put. A mysterious baggie of something is located under the driver seat of the car you just had detailed yesterday. Assuming you get a fairly competent lawyer, he argues that the search was illegal and the cops planted the evidence. The judge scoffs at the idea that the cops would plant evidence, and finds some reason to allow the evidence. Best case, a jury finds you not guilty and you wind up with a huge legal bill.

The very best you could hope for is a successful lawsuit, but that will be paid by the taxpayers. Police have no incentive to follow the law when they are not held personally accountable. You want to add some teeth to this SCOTUS ruling? Add mandatory jail time for failure to comply. But judges can't do that, lawmakers won't, and prosecutors will cooperate with LEOs to avoid prosecution.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 12:17 AM
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Taxpayers don't pay, insurance policies do. However, these policies are for "omissions and errors" and specifically disallow claims arising from personal malice (or malice in general....whatever).

The thing is, the ins companies just pay out anyway. The backwork and nonsense involved in denying the claim isn't worth it. Yes, the taxpayer ultimately shares the cost of the liability insurance. There is in effect no reason for public servants to restrain themselves from arbitrary and capricious actions.



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