Police request for passenger to show driver’s license constituted an unlawful seizure under 4th amd.


San Diego Criminal Defense LawyerWhether police can request passenger to show driver’s license? In prosecution for willfully and unlawfuly carrying concealed weapon and for willfully and unlawfully carrying loaded firearm in a public place, the Municipal Court, Los Angeles Judicial District, Ronald Schoenberg, J., granted defendant’s motion to suppress evidence on ground that discovery of firearm resulted from unlawful search and seizure. State appealed. The Court of Appeal, Johnson, J., held that: (1) acts of police officer constituted a “detention” where the officer stood at passenger door of car which police had legitimately stopped and asked to see driver’s license of passenger not suspected of any crime; (2) fact that the restraint on passenger’s liberty was minimal did not make the restraint a reasonable one; (3) officer’s failure to offer passenger choice whether to produce her driver’s license, together with other factors, resulted in “seizure” for Fourth Amendment purposes; and (4) the seizure was not reasonable.

Full case here: People v. Spicer, 157 Cal. App. 3d 213, 203 Cal. Rptr. 599 (Ct. App. 1984), https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/157/213.html

Whether police can request passenger to show driver’s license?

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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