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Tag Archives: reasonable suspicion

Criminal Practice – DWI – Motion to Suppress – Traffic Stop – Tip – Open Container – Parking Lot (access required)

State v. Coleman Where a tip from a citizen was the only reason the arresting officer stopped the defendant-driver, but where the tip did not indicate any illegality – saying merely there was an open container of alcohol in defendant’s car when it was in a parking lot – the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to stop defendant.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – DWI – Reasonable Suspicion – Wide Turn (access required)

State v. Osterhoudt A state trooper did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when the trooper stopped defendant for crossing a double yellow line while making a right turn. Although defendant did not – as the trooper mistakenly thought – violate G.S. § 20-146(a), he did violate G.S. §§ 20-146(d) and 20-153(a).

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Criminal Practice – DWI – Reasonable Suspicion – Weaving Within Lane (access required)

State v. Otto Even though the trial court incorrectly found that the state trooper “knew” a nearby equestrian club served alcohol when he said only that he had “heard” the club served alcohol, the trooper nevertheless had a reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant-driver: around 11:00 p.m. on a Friday, the trooper observed defendant weaving within her lane “constantly and continuously” over the course of three-quarters of a mile.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Reasonable Suspicion – 65 Lbs. of Marijuana (access required)

State v. Williams Given the driver’s inability to articulate where she was coming from or going to, the conflict in the defendant-passenger’s and the driver’s stories of being family, an absent third party’s ownership of the SUV, and defendant’s and the driver’s consistency with aspects of the drug courier profile (such as the SUV’s dark tinted windows and the use of an interstate highway), a sheriff’s deputy had a reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify a search of the SUV.

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Criminal Practice – DWI – Traffic Stop – Reasonable Suspicion – Weaving Within Lane – Other Drivers’ Evasive Maneuvers (access required)

State v. Fields The trial court found not only that defendant was weaving in his lane, but also that defendant’s driving was “like a ball bouncing in a small room,” and that the driving was so erratic that the deputy following defendant observed other drivers – in heavy traffic – taking evasive maneuvers to avoid defendant’s car. The trial court’s findings support its conclusion that the deputy had a reasonable, articulable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop of defendant’s vehicle.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Reasonable Suspicion – 30-Day Tag – Low Number (access required)

State v. Burke Where our Court of Appeals held, An officer believed that the number on defendant’s 30-day tag was lower than those being issued at that time; the officer’s belief did not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion needed to make a traffic stop, we affirm the Court of Appeals’ reversal of the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Tinted Windows – Reasonable Suspicion (access required)

State v. Davis Even though there was conflicting evidence as to whether defendant’s car windows were tinted legally, and even though the state voluntarily dismissed the citation for illegally tinted windows, the darkness of the window tint gave the arresting office a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity.

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