Category Archives: Automobile exception

D.Kan.: Driving unlicensed vehicle not ground for search under search incident or automobile exception

Driving an allegedly unlicensed vehicle doesn’t support a search incident for paperwork on the vehicle. The automobile exception didn’t support a search either because there was no probable cause. After defendant was handcuffed and away from the vehicle, a Long … Continue reading

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TX: Mere furtive gesture not enough for PC

Defendant went into a bar known for drug activity, stayed a few minutes, came out to his car, and drove off. There was a traffic offense and furtive gestures toward the console. The officer stopped him and searched the car. … Continue reading

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CO: The statutory right to notice of right to refuse a consent search doesn’t apply when the automobile exception applies

Colorado requires notice of a right to refuse a consent search of a car. When there is probable cause and exigent circumstances, however, that’s enough for the search without even considering consent. People v. Ball, 2017 CO 108, 2017 Colo. … Continue reading

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D.Minn.: DHS could stop airplane on ground for pilot certificate inspection; after PC found, airplane subject to automobile exception because of mobility

Federal officers can seek a pilot certificate inspection (PCI) of any airplane. 14 C.F.R. 61.51(i). “Although it seems obvious that the agents were interested in Defendants’ plane for drugs—and therefore that the PCI was merely a pretext to dig around—officers … Continue reading

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PA: The automobile exception does not apply in one’s own driveway

“We granted the petition for allowance of appeal filed by Daniel F. Loughnane to determine whether the Superior Court erred by holding that the federal automobile exception, adopted by this Court in Commonwealth v. Gary, 625 Pa. 183, 91 A.3d … Continue reading

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D.Neb.: Consent didn’t extend to removing pickup’s bedliner, but officer had PC by then

The officer had probable cause for this traffic stop, and defendant was found to have consented to a search of his pickup truck. He observed it happening and never objected. [I hate that rationale.] By the time the bedliner was … Continue reading

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Cal.6th: Inventory wouldn’t permit removal of dashboard, but finding drugs during inventory turned into probable cause for a search

Defendant’s car had cocaine hidden in a compartment behind the dashboard. Normally, an inventory search would not permit removal of car parts to conduct it. Here, however, the officer found cocaine under the seat during the inventory, and that was … Continue reading

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OH3: Search incident under Gant isn’t automatic in a DUI arrest; more indicators required

OVI (DUI) is not an offense where there is per se evidence to be found in the vehicle by search incident under Gant (or the automobile exception). Something more than just the offense is required to use the stop to … Continue reading

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CA6: Auto exception continues to place of inventory; heroin found by plain feel

Defendant’s car was pulled over for a missing license plate and overtinting. The “plain” smell of marijuana was evident, and he was removed from the car for a patdown. The patdown revealed heroin by plain feel, which was valid. The … Continue reading

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D.Nev.: PC for automobile exception continues into impoundment

Probable cause for a vehicle search under the automobile exception continues into impoundment for later inventory even though the vehicle is immobilized by where it is. Also, permission from the owner gives the driver of a car standing. United States … Continue reading

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E.D.Mich.: Seeing def in house of another permitted entry to arrest on an arrest warrant

Seeing defendant in the house of another was justification for entry into the home to arrest him on a warrant under Steagald. United States v. Terrell, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175483 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 24, 2017). Defendant was stopped for … Continue reading

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CA5: Thumping a spare tire on PC wasn’t an unreasonable search

“Here, the agent articulated several observations which, based on his eight years of experience at this [immigration] checkpoint, indicated that the truck’s spare tire contained contraband. Viewing this testimony in the light most favorable to the Government, and giving due … Continue reading

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