D.S.D.: Was all this a “reasonable” mistake under Heien? Doesn’t matter because there was RS for other reasons

The court goes on at length about the reasonableness of the officers’ interpretation of use of a turn signal and the application of the state “practicable lane” statute under the reasonableness standard of Heien, then concludes there was reasonable suspicion on other grounds. United States v. Spaid, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179505 (D.S.D. Sept. 19, 2017)*:

Hence, even if the deputies were wrong about whether the turn signal and “practicable lane” statutes Were infringed, their errors of law were reasonable. They should not be expected to interpret statutes with the subtlety and expertise of a judge or lawyer but only that they understand and apply the laws to a level that is objectively reasonable. Given the state of the law at that time (and now) and what they saw and testified to, any mistake of law they may have made was reasonable and enough to support a probable cause stop of the vehicle.

In any event, if Spaid’s unsignaled turn and lane driving were not sufficient — by themselves — to warrant stopping Spaid’s vehicle, there were other facts that gave the deputies reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. Spaid, a known drug user, parked at, went into, and left a residence associated with drug activity. He also stopped his vehicle left of where he should of on Capitol Avenue before making his turn. And he failed or refused to heed to emergency lights and siren (after seeing them in his mirror) and move over to the edge, curb or shoulder of the highway. Instead, he chose to stay the course, and remain in the inside lane, for another 30 plus seconds before ultimately turning into the Runnings parking lot. This noncompliant behavior, together with Spaid’s abbreviated visit to a suspected drug house, his mid-street stop, and his driving mannerisms were enough, in their totality, to provide the deputies with reasonable suspicion to stop him.

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