Monday, March 22, 2010

Each incremental intrusion during a stop must be analyzed

Often times a person's vehicle is stopped due to an alleged traffic violation. This alleged violation may then result in a search of the vehicle, leading to felony charges or other charges significantly more severe than the reason for the initial stop. Just because an officer may find something illegal in your vehicle during such a search, does not mean that you will be convicted. One reason that the conviction may not occur is that the officer may have illegally searched the vehicle, or questioned the driver. This may result in the suppression of found evidence, or of information garnered from the driver's answers.

"[E]ach incremental intrusion during a stop must be strictly tied to and justified by the circumstances which rendered the initiation of the stop permissible." State v. Askerooth, 681 N.W.2d 353, 364 (Minn. 2004) (quotations omitted). Here, the first intrusion occurred when the officer identified Defendant. Once they had knowledge that the Defendant was not the owner with a suspended driver’s license the purpose of the stop had evaporated. Further detention and search violated the Defendant’s legal, statutory and constitutional rights in that the basis for the stop had ended. See also State vs. Hickman, 491 NW2d 673 (Minn.App.1992).

When confronted with an issue involving the search of your person or property, you should always seek the advice of an attorney knowledgeable in this area. Should you have such an issue and wish a free consultation, please contact Patrick Flanagan at:



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