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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 166307 Find in a Library
Title: Traffic Stop -- Ordering Passengers Out of a Vehicle
Journal: Crime to Court: Police Officer's Handbook  Dated:(May 1997)  Pages:complete issue
Author(s): J C Coleman
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 26
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A court of appeals in Maryland approved the suppression of evidence against a defendant in a drug case because the defendant was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation and the discovery of drugs resulted directly from the defendant being ordered out of the car.
Abstract: The Maryland court said ordering the passenger out of the car represented an unlawful seizure of the defendant's person. The court's decision followed a 1977 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Pennsylvania versus Mimms that potential danger to a police officer during a traffic stop justified permitting the police officer to order the driver out of the vehicle. The issue in both court rulings is whether ordering the passenger rather than the driver out of the car makes a difference. The case is analyzed in terms of police officer safety when making traffic stops. It is concluded that danger to a police officer from a traffic stop is likely to be greater when there are passengers and that ordering the passenger out of the car constitutes a minimum intrusion. On the personal liberty side of the balance, however, the case for not ordering the passenger out of the car is stronger than that for the driver. 7 photographs
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Drug law offenses; Maryland; Police legal limitations; Police policies and procedures; Police safety; Rules of evidence; Search and seizure; Traffic law enforcement; Traffic offenses; US Supreme Court decisions
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