IN rejects Heien under state constitution

Indiana rejects Heien under the state constitution. It is incongruous to justify a stop when the law shouldn’t even allow it. Mercado v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 377 (Nov. 23, 2022):

P18 And we agree with the reasoning of our precedent for that greater protection. As we have explained, “this limitation is one of common sense. While we as citizens desire and expect law enforcement officers to enforce the requirements of state statutes,” if citizens appear to meet those requirements, “we should not be subject to a traffic stop on suspicion of an alleged violation thereof.” Goens, 943 N.E.2d at 834; see also Heien, 574 U.S. at 74 (Sotomayer, J., dissenting) (“One wonders how a citizen seeking to be law-abiding and to structure his or her behavior to avoid” police encounters “could do so” under the majority’s holding). Other jurisdictions have likewise held that their state constitutions afford their citizens greater protection than the Fourth Amendment under Heien does. See, e.g., State v. Pettit, 162 Idaho 849, 406 P.3d 370, 375-76 (Idaho Ct. App. 2017); State v. Coleman, 890 N.W.2d 284, 298 n.2 (Iowa 2017); State v. Carter, 247 N.J. 488, 255 A.3d 1139, 1147-48 (N.J. 2021); State v. Heilman, 268 Ore. App. 596, 342 P.3d 1102, 1106 n.5 (Or. Ct. App. 2015). As the Supreme Court of New Jersey succinctly stated: “it is simply not reasonable to restrict someone’s liberty for behavior that no actual law condemns ….” Carter, 255 A.3d at 1148.

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