PART 5 of 5: Vehicular Searches Without a Warrant. Miscellaneous Concepts.

Spot Checks:
The Court found that random checks made only marginal contributions to roadway safety and compliance with registration requirements; less intrusive means could have been used to serve the same ends. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 US 648 (1979).

Pretextual Stops:
If an actual traffic violation occurred, the ensuing search and seizure of the offending vehicle is reasonable, regardless of what other personal motivations the officers might have had for stopping the vehicle. Whren v. United States, 517 US 806 (1996)

Rental Cars:
The driver of a rental car who has the renter’s permission to drive it but is not listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement does have a reasonable expectation of privacy against government searches of the vehicle. Although such a driver does not have a property interest in the car, property principles inform the reasoning behind this conclusion. A driver who has the permission of the lawful possessor or owner of the car has complete “dominion and control” over the property and can rightfully exclude others from it. Byrd v. United States, 584 US _ (2018)

Motorhomes: California v. Carney, 471 US 386 (1985).

The Fourth Amendment does not require an officer who received information regarding drunken or reckless driving to independently corroborate the behavior before stopping the vehicle. Prado Navarette v. California, 572 US 393 (2014).

A passenger in a stopped vehicle is deemed intentionally detained and subject to the authority of the police. Thus, he is justified in asserting his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizure. Brendlin v. California, 551 US 249 (2007)

Three occupants and drugs. The Court reasoned that a reasonable officer could conclude that there was probable cause to believe that one of three passengers committed the crime of possession of cocaine. As it is an entirely reasonable inference that any or all of the car’s occupants had knowledge of, and exercised dominion and control over, the cocaine, a reasonable officer could conclude that there was probable cause to believe front seat passenger (Pringle) committed the crime of possession of cocaine, either solely or jointly. Maryland v. Pringle, 540 US 366 (2003)

The Constitution did not require police to have reasonable suspicion to use a drug-detection dog on a car during a legal traffic stop. No legitimate privacy was at risk, because the dog only alerted to an illegal drug. Illinois v. Caballes, 543 US 405 (2005).

The Court held that the use of a K-9 unit after the completion of an otherwise lawful traffic stop exceeded the time reasonably required to handle the matter and therefore violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. Because the mission of the stop determines its allowable duration, the authority for the stop ends when the mission has been accomplished. Rodriguez v. United States, 575 US _ (2015).

The Court found that a police department’s placement of a GPS tracking device on a man’s Jeep without his knowledge was an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Jones, 565 US _ (2012).

The Court held that the government had authority to inspect a vehicle’s fuel tank at the border without suspicion. Though the Fourth Amendment “‘protects property as well as privacy,'” interference with a vehicle owner’s gas tank “is justified by the Government’s paramount interest in protecting the border.” United States v. Flores-Montano, 541 US 149 (2004).

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law
(619) 357-6677

Do you want to buy our Lawstache merchandise? Maybe a t-shirt?

Want to mail me something (usually mustache related)? Send it to 185 West F Street, Suite 100-D, San Diego, CA 92101

Want to learn about our recent victories?

Are you are a Russian speaker? Вы говорите по-русски?

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!