IL: Unambiguous traffic statute wasn’t subject to Heien good faith mistake argument

The traffic statute defendant was alleged to have violated was unambiguous, and the court finds defendant didn’t violate it. Therefore, there can be no reasonable good faith reliance on the statute to salvage the stop. People v. Walker, 2018 IL App (4th) 170877, 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 659 (Sep. 13, 2018):

[*P20] As we have concluded section 11-801(a)(2) is not ambiguous, the State’s alternative argument “the traffic stop was still lawful due to the ambiguity of the statutory language” also fails. The United States Supreme Court in Heien v. North Carolina, 574 U.S. __, __, 135 S. Ct. 530, 536, 539, 190 L. Ed. 2d 475 (2014), did hold reasonable suspicion justifying a traffic stop “can rest on a mistaken understanding of the scope of a legal prohibition” as long as the mistaken understanding of the law was objectively reasonable. With regard to the objective standard, the Court stated, “We do not examine the subjective understanding of the particular officer involved.” Heien, 574 U.S. at __, 135 S. Ct. at 539. In addition, the Court declared, “[A]n officer can gain no Fourth Amendment advantage through a sloppy study of the laws he is duty-bound to enforce.” Heien, 574 U.S. at __, 135 S. Ct. at 539.

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