illegal search and seizure

Recently, I read a case where the court granted a motion to suppress evidence against a Defendant who was charged with the drug arrest of unlawful possession of methamphetamine under (720 ILCS 646/60). The Defendant’s friend gave the Defendant permission to drive her car on a long trip because her driver’s license was revoked (625 ILCS 5/6-303). The court determined that the Defendant did have an expectation of privacy in the car and therefore, could object to the extended seizure of the car based on a drug arrest. The court also determined that there was no police procedure for towing the car and therefore, the towing of the car and the walking of a police dog around the vehicle was an unreasonable search and seizure. As a result, the search was determined to be illegal and the methamphetamine found was properly suppressed.

The previous law in a case called Caballes 543 U.S. at 407 determined that the reasonableness of a traffic stop’s duration to the basis for the stop. In the above referenced case, the Defendant was in a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding. Once the officer determined that the driver had a revoked license and arrested the driver the court determine that the seizure of the vehicle was over unless the officer had a legitimate non-investigatory basis for holding the car any longer. The court continued and stated that unless the impoundment of the car was supported by probable cause or community care taking action, there was no reason to continue to detain the vehicle. This is to prevent an officer from taking a vehicle in for an investigatory search under the guise of a legal inventory search subsequent to arrest.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a drug arrest, traffic offense or vehicle impoundment contact my office at 773-791-9682.

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