Articles Posted in Reasonable Suspicion

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A driver was convicted of unlawful exhibition of speed and misdemeanor DUI. The Kansas intermediate court reversed his convictions. The panel reasoned that the unlawful exhibition of speed statute (Kansas Annotated Statute section 8-1565) was unconstitutionally vague, and the arresting officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to stop the driver. The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision holding that the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion but vacated its holding that the statute was unconstitutionally vague because the lack of reasonable suspicion provided an alternative ground for relief.
illuminated traffic
In affirming, the Kansas Supreme Court first recounted the facts as presented to the trial court. In January 2013, the officer was stopped at a light when he noticed an SUV ahead of him. The SUV’s engine was revving, and the officer observed billowing smoke emerging from the car. He smelled burning rubber and noticed a tire smoking and spinning while the SUV remained still. He testified that the driver was “power braking,” which is typically performed to warm the tires before a drag race.

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Last month, a Florida appellate court held that police need to obtain a warrant before downloading information recorded in a car’s “black box.” Specifically, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach concluded that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information stored in the black box, and downloading that information without a warrant absent exigent circumstances violates the Fourth Amendment.

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In the fall of 2013, the defendant was involved in a high speed accident that resulted in the death of his passenger. Afterwards, his vehicle was impounded. Roughly a week after the crash, law enforcement downloaded the information stored on the car’s black box without first obtaining a warrant. A car’s black box records information regarding numerous issues, such as speed, steering, and braking.

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