Supreme Court Case Study

When police have encounters with suspects there are legal Justifications that are required during those encounters as well as determining the potential for criminal evidence. In this particular case study, officer Smith has noticed a vehicle that has Neat seems to be a broken tail light, therefore pulls over the vehicle. The fact that the car has a possible broken tail light is enough to pull the vehicle over, a simple what’s called in most states a correctable violation, typically resulting in a ticket or a certain amount of days to get it fixed.

Therefore I believe that officer Smith had a legitimate reason to pull the vehicle over, however I do not believe he had reasonable suspicion until he started to approach the car. As Smith walked up to the vehicle he realized that the car fit the description of a recent road side killing of a fellow officer. This giving the officer reasonable suspicion that the person in the car may be armed and dangerous considering the broken tail light as well as the same vehicle description. Based on these hunches, as well as Pennsylvania vs.. Miss, “In Miss, the U.

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Supreme Court noted that statistics indicated that 30 percent of the officers shot in the line of duty were shot as they approached a vehicle. The Court held that when officers make a traffic stop, they may routinely order the driver out of the car without giving any reason. ” (Robertson, Unlace ; Stacked peg 83) Also, in my opinion this officer was now in the process of performing a terry-type-stop which is “A detention that will ordinarily be for a fairly short duration and that will be no longer than necessary to effectuate the purpose of the detention. Robertson, Wallace & Stacked peg 405).

For those reasons, I feel strongly that officer Smith’s choice on performing a pat down was legal. After Smith was finished with his frisk, and found nothing, he let the suspect return to their car and asked for their license and registration, upon doing so he car took off turning into a high speed chase ending with the suspects car crashing into a light pole.

For fear that the car may explode due to the impact, the officer removed the suspect from the car and then returned to the car for identification, and in doing o found a gun under some papers in the glove compartment that had popped open from the impact of the crash, as well as a bag of marijuana in the woman’s purse. Believe that Simi n did nave exigent circumstances tort him to chase this vehicle. First of all, if the woman was not hiding something why would she flee after being frisked.

Second, she was fine with getting out of the vehicle but once she was asked for her license and registration, takes off at an accelerated speed and could put others in danger, not to mention her car still fits the description of the road side killing of another police officer. Officer Smith at this point still has no idea who this woman is or why her tail light is broken, which could be from hitting and killing the other Officer, as well as why did she Just take off like that.

On the other hand, I feel like where officer Smith went wrong, was after the crash and the removal of the suspect, he went back to get her identification. He should have left the vehicle and helped the suspect as well as called for back up long before the crash. The items in the car should have been left for an investigative team, not officer Smith. Also personally I do not feel the information given about the gun in the glove compartment was enough simply because, was it in plain view or not?

It claims that it was under some papers, was part of it showing or not? If in fact part of the gun Nas showing and the glove compartment was popped open due to the impact, then {sees the gun was in plain view.

However if officer Smith had to move those papers or really look in there to see the gun then no I do not believe that the gun was in plain new. Also, I do not feel the gun was legally obtained because like I stated earlier, the mess in the vehicle should have been left for an investigative team.

By entering the suspects purse for identification, I do believe that would be legal simply because the officer was given reasonable cause due to the earlier series of events, however, I do not believe the bag of marijuana would in this case be admissible evidence due to the fact that like I said earlier, he should have left the teems in the vehicle for and investigative team. By the time they would have gotten there, any evidence such as the gun and or marijuana that could have linked or lead o other criminal activities would not be admissible evidence because there was no Inerrant at the time Smith was seizing those items.

As you can see, every move that an officer makes, as well as what and how they choose to do something must have either reasonable cause or suspicion.

Smith performed all the correct steps in my opinion up until the end. He should have United for a warrant to search the suspects vehicle because then the items that were found, could be admissible evidence. References Robertson, C. , Wallace H & Stacked G B. Procedures the Pearson. Justice system