Q: This is for pa.3rd.circuit state criminal court.Can a jury consider the legality of a vehicle search by police?
In other words can a jury make the determination or decision of the legality of a vehicle search by police,or is that aspect solely a matter for judge to rule on?
A: Generally, the legality of a vehicle stop/search comes up as a suppression issue. This is an effort to keep the information from the tryer of fact as it was illegally gotten (fruit of the poisonous tree). However, if there are wuestions about the stop they could impact the veracity of the officers statement (truthfullness), a jury could consider that. The jury cannot rule in the legality of the stop. Their job is to find guilt or innocence. As stated above, the car stop factors into that. But as for the legality if the car stop, that ia the judges call.
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