New Case Law on Search of Vehicles During a Traffic Stop

I have filed a Suppression Motion for a client based on a recent US Supreme Court decision, Rodriguez v. United States (2015.) The issue in Rodriguez is the extension of a routine traffic stop beyond the time necessary to write a traffic citation and what happens if incriminating evidence is discovered after that time. While my client was being held after a warning ticket had been issued, their car was searched by police. Drug evidence was found. I have argued to the Court that this search was illegal and that the evidence obtained during the search should not be admissible in court.

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My client was stopped on the interstate for a faulty tail light. The officer stopping the client directed them to sit in his patrol vehicle while he issued a warning ticket. During this time, he questioned the client about their origin and destination, and the purpose of their travel, among many other topics that were unrelated to the equipment violation. After issuing the warning, he continued to question the client, and after some time asked for consent to search the car, which was given. During the search, some drug evidence was found. The client was charged with possession of this drug evidence.

The question for the Court will be was the continued detention of my client after the warning ticket was issues in violation of Rodriguez? We are arguing the case in a few weeks, and I will be very interested to hear what the judge rules.

If you or someone you care about has found themselves under similar circumstances as my client in this case, then reach out to us. I would be very interested to hear the facts and see if Rodriguez or any other case law can help in their defense.

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