E.D.N.C.: Officer’s reach into car was search, but justified by automobile exception

The reach into defendant’s car was a search, but it was justified by the automobile exception. United States v. Joyner, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68324 (E.D. N.C. Mar. 15, 2021).

Defendant’s stop wasn’t unreasonably extended. “Although Officer Hambrock walked back and forth between the cruiser and Eggleston’s vehicle several times, there is no evidence to suggest that Officer Hambrock prolonged the traffic stop beyond what was necessary for an ordinary traffic stop. Rather, Officer Hambrock was in the process of conducting ‘ordinary inquiries incident to the traffic stop’ — such as verifying identification information and completing paperwork for the misdemeanor traffic violations — when he smelled the marijuana.” United States v. Eggleston, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68222 (W.D. Tenn. Feb. 12, 2021).*

Defendant’s challenge that he alleges a lack of probable cause for the search warrant here fails. “The Court finds that the affidavit in support of the search warrant for the Residence provided the magistrate judge who signed the warrant with a substantial basis for concluding that probable cause was established for the search.” United States v. Flores, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68240 (N.D. Ga. Apr. 8, 2021).*

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