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Thread: Bad car search

  1. #1
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    United States v. Herrera , 444 F.3d 1238 (10th Cir. 2006):

    A Kansas state trooper pulled over defendant's pickup truck
    to conduct a random commercial vehicle safety inspection
    pursuant to a state regulatory statute. Defendant's pickup,
    however, was not a commercial vehicle subject to such random
    inspections, about which the trooper was mistaken. The
    defendant was unable to produce proof of insurance, and
    the trooper arrested him. The trooper then conducted an
    inventory search, and discovered 23 kilograms of cocaine. The
    defendant was charged federally with possession of cocaine
    with intent to distribute. He filed a motion to suppress,
    that was denied. He was convicted, and appealed. Held:
    Conviction reversed and case dismissed. Ruled: The traffic
    stop was not based on probable cause, or reasonable
    suspicion, and was not a valid administrative stop because
    defendant's pickup was not a commercial vehicle subject to
    random safety inspections . Hence, the warrantless stop
    was unconstitutional. Moreover, the trooper's mistaken
    belief concerning the statutory regulatory scheme did not
    save the stop, search, and seizure because the trooper
    had no lawful authority to make the random inspection and
    there was no reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Thus,
    the good-faith exception did not apply.

  2. #2
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    um... k. What was this in reference to?
    -Unrequited

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    Hmpf. If I was carrying 23 kilos of coke, I'd certainly want insurance... though probably not a state-approved kind

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    unrequited wrote:
    um... k. What was this in reference to?

    I'll take it, even though it does not have an obvious connection to guns.

    As OC'ers we all run the risk of police abuse of 4th Amend. rights.

    Like Mike said a while back, police officers whoviolate rights let criminals go free.

    Also, is it just me, or is there something fishy implied in the last two sentences?

    "Moreover, the trooper's mistaken
    belief concerning the statutory regulatory scheme did not
    save the stop, search, and seizure because the trooper
    had no lawful authority to make the random inspection and
    there was no reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Thus,
    the good-faith exception did not apply."


    I'm thinking a state trooper would know commercial random inspections don't apply to personal pickup trucks.Unless this was his first week patrolling alone. Its not like somebody wouldn't have figured it out and told him when he turnedin a number of shift reports that he had stopped various pickup trucks for random commercial inspections.

    So, why did he stop the vehicle in the first place? Was there a suspicion that wasn't really a reasonable suspicion?

    Why didhe search the vehicle? Again, was there a suspicion that didn't justify it. It says he searched, so its not like it was in plain sight.

    I'm thinking somebody saw the good-faith exception as a wayout of amistake and tried to use it, but the court wasn't buying it.






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    Did he get his drugs back after the case was dismissed?

    I know someone who was once pulled over and the LE searched their vehicle and found an illegal electronic device in the vehicle. After the case had gone to court, the device was picked up from the PD's evidence office.

    If you can pick up evidence in a case after having been found guilty of it's possession, shouldn't you then have evidence returned to you after your case has been reversed and dismissed? :P

  6. #6
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    Citizen wrote:
    I'm thinking a state trooper would know commercial random inspections don't apply to personal pickup trucks.Unless this was his first week patrolling alone. Its not like somebody wouldn't have figured it out and told him when he turnedin a number of shift reports that he had stopped various pickup trucks for random commercial inspections.
    Especially as it's in Kansas. I could understand an NYPD officer stopping a pickup (probably never having seen one before), but Kansas? Wouldn't that make most vehicles "commercial", then?

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    unrequited wrote:
    um... k. What was this in reference to?

    I'll take it, even though it does not have an obvious connection to guns.

    As OC'ers we all run the risk of police abuse of 4th Amend. rights.

    Like Mike said a while back, police officers whoviolate rights let criminals go free.

    Also, is it just me, or is there something fishy implied in the last two sentences?

    "Moreover, the trooper's mistaken
    belief concerning the statutory regulatory scheme did not
    save the stop, search, and seizure because the trooper
    had no lawful authority to make the random inspection and
    there was no reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Thus,
    the good-faith exception did not apply."


    I'm thinking a state trooper would know commercial random inspections don't apply to personal pickup trucks.Unless this was his first week patrolling alone. Its not like somebody wouldn't have figured it out and told him when he turnedin a number of shift reports that he had stopped various pickup trucks for random commercial inspections.

    So, why did he stop the vehicle in the first place? Was there a suspicion that wasn't really a reasonable suspicion?

    Why didhe search the vehicle? Again, was there a suspicion that didn't justify it. It says he searched, so its not like it was in plain sight.

    I'm thinking somebody saw the good-faith exception as a wayout of amistake and tried to use it, but the court wasn't buying it.
    General discussion is for topics not necesslary OC related. The first 10 amendments have everything to do with OC. When LEOs stops you, do they have the authority? Replace the word cocane with firearms. The trooper then conducted an inventory search, and discovered 23 firearms. The defendant was charged federally with possession of firearms with intent to distribute in commerce.

    As to the last two sentences. This has to do with jurisdiction. The LEO did not have authority to inspect commercial vehicles. The LEO was outside his jurisdiction of authority. The LEO stopped the truck under color of law. Does a fireman have the authority to pull you over for speeding? No he does not. Once the LEO acted under the color of law he waved his good-faith immunity. Now the truck driver can sue the LEO under 42 USC 1983. The driver cannot sue the state because the LEO acted outside his authority. In effect, the LEO acted on his own.

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    vrwmiller wrote:
    Did he get his drugs back after the case was dismissed?

    I know someone who was once pulled over and the LE searched their vehicle and found an illegal electronic device in the vehicle. After the case had gone to court, the device was picked up from the PD's evidence office.

    If you can pick up evidence in a case after having been found guilty of it's possession, shouldn't you then have evidence returned to you after your case has been reversed and dismissed? :P
    I think you're probably referring to a friend who got a radar detector ticket. Va. Code § 46.2-1079(A) provides, in part:
    This section shall not be construed to authorize the forfeiture to the Commonwealth of any such device or mechanism. Any such device or mechanism may be taken by the arresting officer if needed as evidence, and, when no longer needed, shall be returned to the person charged with a violation of this section, or at that person's request, and his expense, mailed to an address specified by him. Any unclaimed devices may be destroyed on court order after six months have elapsed from the final date for filing an appeal.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    I don't know the circumstances, but one possibility is that Kansas may have laws saying that company owned pickup's are commercial vehicles. I'm not saying this is the case but if the truck appeared to belong to some company the LEO may have thought it wasn't a POV.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Why didhe search the vehicle? Again, was there a suspicion that didn't justify it. It says he searched, so its not like it was in plain sight.
    It was an inventory search incident to arrest.

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    silver nekode wrote:
    I don't know the circumstances, but one possibility is that Kansas may have laws saying that company owned pickup's are commercial vehicles. I'm not saying this is the case but if the truck appeared to belong to some company the LEO may have thought it wasn't a POV.
    "A Kansas state trooper pulled over defendant's pickup truck to conduct a random commercial vehicle safety inspection pursuant to a state regulatory statute. Defendant's pickup, however, was not a commercial vehicle subject to such random inspections, about which the trooper was mistaken."

    If the officer stopped him for speeding then the officer would have been ok. But he didn't. The officer stopped the truck to conduct a random commercial vehicle safety inspection. The truck was not commercial. The stop was outside the officer's jurisdiction. You can't apply the commercial vehicle statutes to non-commercial vehicles.



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    vrwmiller wrote:
    Did he get his drugs back after the case was dismissed?*

    I know someone who was once pulled over and the LE searched their vehicle and found an illegal electronic device in the vehicle.* After the case had gone to court, the device was picked up from the PD's evidence office.

    If you can pick up evidence in a case after having been found guilty of it's possession, shouldn't you then have evidence returned to you after your case has been reversed and dismissed?* :P
    Funny you mention that, I vaguely remember a case a while back where there was a similar situation, they couldn't charge the guy, so they 'handed back' his narcotics.... They then arrested him for posession, LOL.
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