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CB Whren v. US - evidence of a much more serious crime the...

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Whren v. United States 517 U.S. 806 (1996) Fact: Procedural Facts: Trial court, defendant was convicted. Appelas, affirmed. Operative Facts: Mr. Whren was driving in a dark truck (Pathfinder), with temporary licenses plate. The unmarked police officer in plain clothing came up to the driver to give them a warning concerning traffic violations. The found cocaine on the lap of the driver, and placed him under arrest. The crime went from a “traffic warning” to a “3 count of drug charges.” Issue: Broad Question: Narrow Question: Is the power to stop for a minor crime be used to search for evidence of a more serious crime, which probable cause or reasonable suspicion does not exist? Rule: Subjective motivation of a police officer plays no role in ordinary, probably-cause 4 th amendment analysis. If a probably cause for one thing even a minor traffic stop turns up
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Unformatted text preview: evidence of a much more serious crime, the 4 th amendment allows this. Intentionally discriminatory application of laws is the Equal Protection Clause, not the 4 th amendment. Rational: Courts has always held that an officer’s motive does not invalidate objectively justifiable behavior under the 4 th amendment. They cases that was read as a “disapproval of police attempts to use valid bases of action against citizens as pretexts for pursuing other investigatory agendas” was based on lack of probable cause. Holding: The officer had probable cause the defendant violated the traffic code, which allowed him to make the appropriate stop under the 4 th amendment, and the evidence gathered from there is admissible, defendant was convicted. Synthesis: Dissent/Concurrences:...
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