Monday, June 18, 2007

Supreme Court Upholds Rights of Passgener in Stop

The Supreme Court has ruled that passengers, as well as drivers, have the right to challenge the legality of a stop by the police.

The ruling was unanimous.

In the case, the California Supreme Court found that, as a matter Constitutional law, only the driver had been "seized" by the original traffic stop, but the passenger, who was convicted of a crime as a result of the stop, argued that he was seized as well, and therefore had the right to challenge the use of evidence against him under his rights against unreasonable search and siezure.

The Court agreed. Justice Souter wrote:

"When police make a traffic stop, a passenger in the car, like the driver, is seized for Fourth Amendment purposes and so may challenge the stop’s constitutionality."


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