What is the Current State of the Case Law?




Title: What is the Current State of the Case Law?
Description: The current state of the case law with regard to traffic stop and searches of vehicles.
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The current state of the case law with regard to traffic stop and searches of vehicles, particularly when considered in conjunction with the newest opinion from the US Supreme Court (Rodriguez v United States) is that in order to detain a person beyond the scope of the original traffic stop, even for a few minutes, the officer must first have developed what they call reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the detention.

Suspicion of criminal activity can be based on many different factors that the officer may observe or develop during the course of the traffic stop. Things like nervousness on the part of the driver, inconsistent travel plans or stories given by the driver and the passenger, rental agreement not authorizing the driver to operate the motor vehicle, a quick turn-around from what the officer would consider to be a source state for narcotics, or the inability to not be able to firmly state their travel plans.

In other words, not be able to clearly state where they had been or where they’re going or who they’re going to see. These are all things that the courts would consider to be reasonable suspicion to detain a person beyond the scope of the traffic stop to allow the officer to further investigate.