Tuesday, October 23, 2018

20 seconds of off-mission questioning is 20 seconds too long

Police questions during a traffic stop may violate the Fourth Amendment if they (1) are not necessary to complete the mission of the stop; (2) are not justified by a reasonable suspicion of other criminal activity; and (3) extend the duration of the stop for any length of time.
 
And thus, in United States v. Clark, the Third Circuit affirmed a suppression order holding that questions to a driver about his criminal history were irrelevant to the mission of the stop, were not otherwise justified by suspicious behavior, and improperly extended the stop by 20 seconds.

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