UT: Searching a sleeping driver unreasonable; not community caretaking function

The state’s justification of rousting a person sleeping in a car was a seizure and not justified by the community caretaking function. The state bore the burden, and it failed. This was treated by the officers as a criminal investigation throughout. “Once a defendant has sufficiently raised a Fourth Amendment challenge—for example, by establishing he was seized without a warrant—the onus is squarely on the State to show that the seizure was nonetheless lawful. Here, the State failed to show that the facts alleged support application of the community caretaking exception. Rather, the facts indicate that the police’s seizure of Smith was incommensurate with either Smith’s minimal need for assistance or the low risk to the community of an impaired driver on the road. As such, we reverse the court of appeals and grant Smith’s motion to suppress.” State v. Smith, 2022 UT 13, 2022 Utah LEXIS 23 (Mar. 1, 2022).

Defendant’s CSLI was properly obtained, and even if it hadn’t been, it was harmless error on this record. People v. Farmer, 2022 NY Slip Op 01313, 2022 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1322 (2d Dept. Mar. 2, 2022).*

Defendant was stopped for suspected DUI. The officer asked for consent to check him for weapons before having him get in the patrol car and got it. Alternatively, it was inevitable. United States v. Matthews, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36624 (W.D.Tenn. Mar. 2, 2022).*

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