Q: i was pulled over because of an anonymous tip.
the tip said a drug deal would be happening at my place of employment at 2 involving a blue truck and black jeep. i drive a red truck. on my day off at 230 i stop by work and talk to a coworker. upon leaving i get pulled over because he believes i was involved in a drug deal and asked if they can search my vehicle to which i respond no. cop tells me he’s calling in a drug dog and it’s going to take 30 minutes to get here. im free to go but my vehicle has to stay. about 20 minutes later i give him my weed pipe and he proceedes to search my vehicle in which he find a broken piece of glass that ftp for meth. i’m arrested for possession but no drugs or money is found. was i illegally made to wait for a drug dog to come? and the anonymous tip was for a different time and completely different color of vehicle did he have a right to stop me?
Generally speaking, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that a car has drugs or other contraband, then they are permitted to stop the driver of that car and search it without a warrant. This means that they can temporarily detain you and bring in K9 dogs, etc. while they search you—and they may do so without a warrant. If the police have NO probable cause to search your vehicle (i.e., they pulled you over for a broken tail light and there is nothing in plain view to suggest that your car contained contraband), only then must they obtain your consent to search it. You always have the right to refuse search requests under the Fourth Amendment, but the police may go ahead and do so anyway if they feel they have probable cause. Probable cause is a very low burden, unfortunately—but that does not mean that the search cannot be challenged as illegal. Police are not exactly constitutional scholars, and illegal searches happen all the time. Any good lawyer should closely examine the circumstances surrounding the stop and determine whether the stop and search was illegal. If it turns out that it was an illegal search, then the lawyer should move to suppress any any contraband that was discovered during the illegal stop. This is known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine.
It's not clear from the information you provided why the police elected to stop your car if it was red and the tipster said it was blue. But, they must explain that in their report—in other words, they must explain what gave them the probable cause to believe that you were involved in the drug deal when you were driving a red car vs. a blue car. If they cannot provide a satisfactory explanation as to why they pulled you over in the first place, then your lawyer should challenge the stop and search as unconstitutional and move to suppress any contraband uncovered from the search as fruit of the poisonous tree.
When police have probable cause to believe that there is contraband in someone's car, they man only search compartments of that car that realistically could contain the contraband that they have probable cause to believe is in your car. Let's say hypothetically, cops received an anonymous tip that a person in a green van with a MN license plate was selling stolen televisions out of that van. The police spot a green van that matches the description that the anonymous tipster provided. This alone could engender the probable cause necessary for a police officer to stop and search the vehicle. However, the police officer in this hypothetical would only be able to search areas of the van that realistically could contain the televisions—meaning, the officer couldn't search the center console or other small compartments in the car that could not realistically fit a television.
You should definitely speak with your lawyer about the circumstances of the stop and determine whether it can be attacked as an unconstitutional search and seizure. In that case, anything that resulted from a potentially illegal stop can and should be suppressed.
I hope this helps.
Susanne Eltamimi agrees with this answer
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A: When I represent a client, I obtain as much information I can about all the facts and circumstances related to the case. Then I analyze it all for legal issues that could benefit my client. When first discussing a case with some who is not a client, naturally we have start somewhere, with first a little information; and then some more. Just based on the bits of information contained in the question, it sounds like at least three legal issues may come up: 1) lack of reasonable articulable suspicion to justify the initial stop; 2) lack of factual justification to prolong the detention beyond its original purpose; and 3) whether claimed "consent" was real or coerced under the circumstances. Discuss it with your lawyer, and work to build the defense case.
A: This sounds like a classic case for a Rodriguez motion. Rodriguez v. United States, 575 U.S. 348, was a United States Supreme Court case which analyzed whether police officers may extend the length of a traffic stop to conduct a search with a trained detection dog.
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