The defendant was prosecuted for various drug offenses as a result of evidence obtained during a traffic stop as well as statements made during the stop. Specifically, the defendant argued that: the traffic stop was unreasonably prolonged to the point that it became a de facto arrest for which probable cause was lacking, that there was no reasonable basis to frisk him for weapons, that his statements were used against him in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, and that police officers obtained consent to search a car in which he was a passenger through coercion. The court concluded that: The police officer conducting the traffic stop had reasonable suspicion to extend the stop when Santillan and the driver appeared nervous and were unable to provide information about where they were coming from. The stop did not ripen into a de facto arrest because the police officer used reasonable methods and intrusions to confirm or dispel his suspicions. Although certain evidence was improperly seized during a frisk, the physical evidence would have inevitably been discovered and thus suppression was not warranted. And while accompanying statements should have been suppressed, the error was harmless.
- Post published:May 8, 2019