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The state of of Oklahoma appealed a District Judge who suppressed evidence upon motion of the defendant. This evidence was seized during a search of the defendants minivan. Here are the facts:
The defendants were traveling eastbound on I 40 while an agent of the Oklahoma Bureau of narcotics and dangerous drugs was conducting narcotics interdiction in Rogers County. He saw defendants minivan following less than a second behind a semi truck in front of them. Since minivan appeared to be a rental vehicle with a Florida license plate. According to the agent, following too closely is falling closer than is reasonable and prudent.The agent said that he used his stationary vehicle and the median to count the time intervals between the two vehicles passing him and he was unable to even count the second. Yes move vehicle speed at between 65 and 75 miles per hour. Driving recommend the following distance of three seconds. However he said that the the defendants were traveling much less than three second distance and that following too closely is one of top three causes of Oklahoma accidents.
The agent pursuit of the defendants vehicle and conducted a traffic stop about two miles from the observed traffic violation. The agent directed a K-9 handler to have his truck dogs can the minivan. The dog alerted the owner of drugs and during the search of the minivan, the officers found 45 packages of marijuana telling about 49 pounds inside a couch the back of the defendants minivan. They charge the defendants with trafficking in illegal drugs and conspiracy to traffic in illegal drugs.
The State contended that the stop of the fan for following too closely based on a violation of the three second rule was a reasonable seizure, and not in violation of the fourth amendment. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed. Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale said that a review of the District Court’s ruling on a motion to suppress evidence is a mixed question of law and fact. The appellate court will consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the District Court’s ruling, except factual determinations made by the District Court that are supported by the evidence, and review the ultimate determination of reasonableness under the fourth amendment de novo.
Both the state and federal constitutions guarantee the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. To stop a vehicle, police must have reasonable art and articulable suspicion the car or its driver is in violation of the law. The determination of visible suspicion must be based upon commonsense judgments and inferences about human behavior. To determine if the truck some violates the fourth amendment, the appellate court will consider whether the officers action was justified at its inception and whether the officer subsequent actions were really related in scope to the circumstances which justify the interference in the first place.
The case at hand concerns only whether the traffic stop was justified at its inception. The validity of a traffic stop in the fourth amendment turns on whether the particular officer Henry still suspicion that a tickler motorist violated in one of the multiple applicable traffic and equipment regulations of jurisdiction. An officer subject of motivation. In a particular vehicle is not relevant. In this case, the agent stop the defendants following too closely, which is a violation of the motor vehicle code. A particular statute provides that a driver shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles in the traffic upon in the condition of the highway.
In a 10th circuit case the court held that a trooper’s use of a two second time to determine that a car was following too closely provided the necessary response suspicion to’s make a traffic stop under against the statute identical to Oklahoma’s statute prohibiting following too closely. Seven years later the 10th circuit reaffirmed its holding in the case. The trooper in the most recent case stop the defendant for following about one second behind a semi on the Internet highway. The trooper testified that such an integral was in violation of the Kansas statute. The 10th circuit object to the defendant’s argument that the stop is not justified because the trooper did not address other factors as a basis for the stop, mainly speed and distance. The court approved time intervals as an acceptable method for to a distance into account and noted that it has specifically approved the two second rule the supporting readable suspicion to make a traffic stop.
In this case, the agent testified that he had hours of training on traffic stops, traffic violations, and the traffic laws of the state did explain the following too closely is a following in a distance is not reasonable and prudent. He went on to say that numerous studies, as well as the open-source manual, recommend the following distance of three seconds. He credited this is a reliable measure of the reasonable and prudent distance between vehicles. Explain how I calculated the less the second between the defendants minivan in the semi and for them. The appellate court found the pages use of the street second rule affirmed together with his calculation and observation of less than one second interval, in this case, provided the minimum level of objective justification required for reasonable suspicion to find the truck stop.
Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale said traffic violations are probably the biggest thing that gets people caught with drugs. If only they had obeyed traffic rules, they likely would not have encountered police. A bang traffic laws will substantially reduce your risk of getting arrested.