IL: PC for arrest can arise from being with somebody else apparently committing a crime

Probable cause for arrest can arise just from defendant’s connection and close association with others. Here, others were arrested for passing counterfeit bills, and defendant arrived in the same car. People v. Braswell, 2019 IL App (1st) 172810, 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 1003 (Dec. 26, 2019). [Maryland v. Garrison says this, too.]

But, merely driving somebody else to a drug deal that happens outside his presence isn’t probable cause. United States v. Penaloza-Romero, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221054 (D. Minn. Oct. 29, 2019). There, mere propinquity is not enough:

Under the totality of the circumstances, law enforcement lacked probable cause to arrest Penaloza-Romero. There were no facts developed prior to Penaloza-Romero’s arrest that provided a particularized reasonable belief that Penaloza-Romero was guilty of a drug crime. The only fact that law enforcement had developed at that time that could be traced to Penaloza-Romero was that he drove Becerra to the LaQuinta Inn where Becerra conducted a drug transaction while Penaloza-Romero remained sitting in his car. But “a person’s mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause to search that person.” Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 91 (1979). And while a “car passenger … will often be engaged in a common enterprise with the driver, and have the same interest in concealing the fruits or the evidence of their wrongdoing,” Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 304-05 (1999), the crime took place wholly inside the hotel room under police supervision, not in or near Penaloza-Romero’s vehicle.

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