How long can police hold you after issuing a ticket? | Prolonged Police Stop

In 2012, Dennys Rodriguez was stopped by a police officer on a highway near Waterloo, Nebraska, after the officer observed him swerve out of his lane of traffic. He veered slowly onto the shoulder for two-three seconds and then jerked the car back into the lane. After being pulled over, he explained that he was trying to avoid a pothole.

After several minutes, the officer issued a written warning to Mr. Rodriguez. The officer testified, at that point, Rodriguez and his passenger “had all their documents back and a copy of the written warning. I got all the reason[s] for the stop out of the way[,] . . . took care of all the business.” The officer then asked to walk the dog around the car. Rodriguez did not permit. The officer called for backup.

After seven minutes, the backup arrived. The officer then walked the dog around the car. Rodriguez says that the prolonged stop was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court agrees. Like a Terry stop, the tolerable duration of police inquiries in the traffic-stop context is determined by the seizure’s “mission”—to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, and attend to related safety concerns. Authority for the seizure thus ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are—or reasonably should have been—completed.

Full opinion at: Rodriguez v. United States, 575 U.S. ___ (2015),

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law
185 West F Street Suite 100-D
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 357-6677

Based in San Diego, CA
Licensed: California, Nevada, and Federal Courts

The San Diego-based business litigation and criminal defense attorneys at LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM are experienced and dedicated professionals singularly focused on one goal: achieving the best results for our clients. Through our hard work and expertise, we guarantee all of our clients that we will diligently protect their rights and zealously pursue justice. Our clients deserve nothing less!