Archive | car stop

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Nuanced Second Circuit Opinion on Dissipated Probable Cause & McLaughlin Violations

The Second Circuit issued two criminal opinions today, both of which we will cover this week. In one, United States v. Pabon, the Circuit rejected a set of Fourth Amendment challenges where police obtained a CT scan which revealed that the defendant was body-packing narcotics. The opinion, available here, is as notable for what it does not hold as for what it does.

In Pabon, police obtained a search warrant authorizing an x-ray of the defendant’s lower abdomen to determine whether he was body-packing narcotics. Based on the x-ray, an emergency room physician reported that body-packing was “unlikely.” A detective nevertheless obtained a search warrant for a CT scan based on his testimony that the x-ray results were consistent with those he had observed in other body-packing cases. The CT scan suggested body-packing, and the defendant was given laxatives that led him to pass eight packages of …


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Categories: car stop, Exclusionary Rule, Fourth Amendment, probable cause, search warrant

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Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Woe Betide Those Who Park on the Wrong Side of the Street (and those who produce child pornography)

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No relevant opinions today; two summary orders.

In United States v. Grady, Syracuse police noticed that Grady’s car was parked in violation of the city’s odd/even street parking rules.  They approached the car, shone their flashlights inside and saw, in plain view, a bag of crack cocaine on Grady’s lap.  A loaded gun was also found in the car.

Assuming the officers’ approach of the car constituted a stop, the Court (Jacobs, Hall, Lynch, CJJ) held there was reasonable suspicion given the car’s being parked on the wrong side of the street.  Though a car isn’t “parked” if it’s stopped only to load or unload goods or passengers, the officers observed no such activity and the Court held they watched the car for long enough — 10 seconds — before deciding to approach.  “The officers were not required to conduct surveillance long enough to ‘rule out the possibility of …


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Categories: car stop, child pornography, expert witnesses, Fourth Amendment, reasonable suspicion, substantive reasonableness

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Stop and Flop

United States v. Wilson, No. 11-915 (2d Cir. October 25, 2012) (Jacobs, Calabresi, Pooler, CJJ)

Defendant Wilson was subject to a car stop near New York’s border with Canada. He was just outside of the St. Regis Mohawk reservation, not a member of the tribe, and the officers who stopped the car – which was registered to a known marijuana dealer – were members of the tribal police department. As tribal officers, under state law they were without authority to exercise police duties outside of the reservation, although one of them was also cross-designated as a U.S. Customers Officer by ICE. After a brief interview, in which Wilson admitted traveling into and out of Canada, and scoring a bit of weed while there, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, who had arrived after the stop, searched Wilson’s car and found three bags of marijuana.

The district court suppressed the evidence, …


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Categories: car stop, probable cause, Uncategorized

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