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Officer Resource Corner

Save this link in your phone’s “notes” app, on your in-car computer, etc
We will continually update it with relevant case laws and court rulings for you to refer back to as a reference guide.
If you see something that needs to be updated, or have a case law you think we should add; e-mail that to [email protected] and we’ll update the list.

Searching People and/or Vehicles

Alabama VS Abrams

Allows us to run tags without PC due to title 32 tags being plainly visible for public to see. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/al-court-of-criminal-appeals/1894658.html

Whren VS US

Any traffic violation committed by a driver is a legitimate legal basis for a stop. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1995/95-5841

Pennsylvania VS Mimms

Grants officers the ability to order the driver out of the car. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1977/76-1830

Maryland VS Wilson

Allows officers to remove passengers as well. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1996/95-1268

Arizona VS Johnson

Reaffirms PA VS Mimms https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/555/323/

US VS Williams

Reasonable to order a passenger back into a car they voluntarily exited for officer safety. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1260319.html

People VS Castellon

Same as US V Williams, less intrusive to 4th to stay in car. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1462426.html

People VS Vibanco

Officers can order occupants out of lawfully stopped vehicle to sit on curb. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1096360.html

Arturo & People VS Hinger

Persons in control of a vehicle must present DL and registration on command of police. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-supreme-court/1196338.html

Hiibel VS Nevada

Asking passengers for ID doesn’t violate 4th. Asking questions is essential part of police investigation. Questions about ones identity is not a 4th violation. (Can request ID – not demand unless there is RS or PC.) https://www.oyez.org/cases/2003/03-5554

U.S. VS Landeros

Says a demand for passengers ID is not part of the mission of a traffic stop, the ID’s of passengers will ordinarily have no relation to a drivers safe operation of the vehicle. https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2019/01/11/17-10217.pdf

Brendlin VS CA

Passengers are seized and not free to leave without police permission once a vehicle is lawfully stopped https://www.oyez.org/cases/2006/06-8120

Terry VS Ohio

Reasonable suspicion to pat for weapons – if you believe someone may or did commit a crime and may have weapon. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1967/67

Minnesota VS Dickerson

Plain feel only in a terry frisk, no articulation of items https://www.oyez.org/cases/1992/91-2019

Chimel VS California

Gives us our search incident to arrest, and describes what we refer to as a “lunge area”. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/395/752/

Arizona VS Gant

Search vehicle where a recent occupant was after arrest, only if reasonable belief arrestee may access vehicle at time of search, or contains evidence of offense. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/556/332/

US v Ross

When a vehicle is stopped and has PC to believe contraband is inside – a warrant-less search is permitted of vehicle to include all compartments, containers, people…etc. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/456/798/

Maryland VS King

Allows collection of DNA evidence from arrested persons for “serious offenses”. (Mouth swab, fingerprints…etc.) https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-207_d18e.pdf

Mapp VS Ohio

Can’t use evidence obtained illegally. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree. https://case.edu/ech/articles/m/mapp-v-ohio

Olivek VS Georgia

The Georgia Supreme Court held that the State Constitution protects against compelled breath tests and affords individuals a Constitutional Right to refuse breath testing. https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2017/s17a0738.html

People Generally

Graham VS Connor

USE OF FORCE: 1) The severity of the crime 2) whether the suspect resisted arrested or attempted to evade arrest by fleeing, and 3) whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or the public (the most important factor). https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/490/386/

Tennessee VS Garner

Must have probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others, and that that threat be imminent. (Shoot fleeing felon). https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/471/1/

Illinois VS Wardlow

Unprovoked flight or evasive behavior, as well as being in a high-crime area, are relevant issues in determining reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/528/119/

Florida VS J.L.

Advises us that an anonymous tip reporting a subject is carrying a gun illegally is not, without more info, sufficient justification for a Terry Stop. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/529/266.html

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