Quakertown, PA asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Constitutional Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Was pulled over pulling out of gas station officer performed field sobriety test and I passed. Then asked to search vehi

Was pulled over pulling out of gas station officer performed field sobriety test and I passed. Then asked to search vehicle and I said no then spoke to another officer after he removed his recording device and sat on car. Then told me that he was calling a canine unit out to which I responded that 15 minutes had already passed and I had to be somewhere. He told me he could take as long as he wanted there was no time so I told him that he was supreme Court upheld Rodriguez versus United States that they can only detain me for a certain period of time. Officer response was I don't know the law and I don't know what I'm talking about. It was going to take 20 minutes for the canine to be there. Then he was told there was not a canine unit available at the time and it would take longer but by now it's been an hour and a half and the officer told me that I was free to go my vehicle had to wait for the canine. My response was if I'm free to go so is my vehicle. He said no that's not the law.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on your description, it appears that the officer may have exceeded the lawful limits of his authority during the traffic stop. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, and law enforcement officers generally need a warrant or probable cause to search a vehicle. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if the officer has reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in the vehicle.

In your case, it is unclear whether the officer had probable cause to search your vehicle or if he was simply fishing for evidence. If you feel that your rights were violated during the traffic stop, you may want to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options.

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