Street Cop Podcast
Street Cop Podcast
Aug 27, 2021
Reasonable Length of Investigation in a Motor Vehicle Stop
Play • 9 min

In this older episode, Dennis answers a call about the reasonable length of an investigation in a Motor Vehicle Stop after the subject denies consent. Recorded on 07/22/2017.

Related Links:

US v. Sharpe - https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/470/675.html?fbclid=IwAR32RuG207VxPD2HTSd_1iqA01X7PRPQcD9eTljznYcadxnNMzxDwZZVoSc

  • 20 Minute or Longer detentions do not constitute a violation of the 4th Amendment!
  • The court will look at whether or not the police diligently pursued their investigation, and whether the detention lasts no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop.
  • The Court refused to adopt a time limit.

State v. Colapinto 1998 - https://caselaw.findlaw.com/nj-superior-court-appellate-division/1193151.html?fbclid=IwAR1jHgHLlG7JFn5rqVahvVHSneCa4n_NIyb26rD9SD-62ch0kal0IMm_Ib4

State of NJ v. Patino (1980)

“The discovery of a small amount of marijuana in the passenger compartment gave rise only to an inference that the occupants were casual users, and this furnished no cause to search the trunk where large “Dealer Sized” quantities of drugs would presumably be stored.

“In the absence of other circumstances that suggest participation in drug trafficking or possession of more contraband” such a search could not expand beyond the persons of the occupants or the passenger compartment of the car.”

Ask for Consent or Call a K9 Unit for a sniff.

State V. Letman (1989) -

Trooper pulls over vehicle and spots plastic bag protruding from under the floor mat containing a 4.6 ounce chunk of a white powdery substance later testing positive for cocaine (Plain View)

Both are arrested, read miranda, and agreed to speak, co-defendants lips were quivering when asked about the bag in the trunk and responded that he did not know what the contents were. (364 Plastic Vials used for packaging found)

Court said – “These are the very types of circumstances that the Patino court referred to, as providing probable cause to search the entire vehicle including the trunk and the interior of the paper bags in the trunk.

Allows an officer, after discovery of contraband, to question a defendant after having read them their Miranda rights.

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