The aftershocks still linger following U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s eruptive and indignant dissent in this case:
“The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong…”
– Justice Sonia Sotomayor, US Supreme Court
The incident began with an unlawful police stop of a man leaving a private residence.
The suspect was arrested after the police officer learned the suspect had an outstanding warrant.
Illegal drugs were found in the suspect’s possession, after the officer searched him.
The search was conducted incidental to the arrest, as a result of the outstanding warrant for a traffic violation.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that even though the stop was unlawful, it was not flagrant.
So they allowed the drug evidence to be admitted and used against the suspect to prosecute the illegal drug possession charges.
In this article we outline the case, the U.S. Supreme Court decision, and how it impacts your 4th Amendment rights, especially if you have an outstanding warrant for arrest. Continue reading