Professor Andrew Fox
CJ227: Criminal Procedure
The case provided is identified of a woman who pulls a female driver over because of what appeared to be a broken tail light. In order to maintain the security, the person was stopped on the side of the road to be cited. She recalled that the same make and model of the vehicle was involved on a shooting, which had one of her co-workers hurt. The female officer pats down the female driver for her safety and hers. Then she was instructed to go back inside and provide identification. This is followed by a high speed chase, which concluded on the driver hitting a phone pole. After that, the officer found even more stuff after she rescued the driver. She found a weapon, followed by a bag of marijuana.
Officer Smith did have reasonable suspicion to make an initial stop because her vehicle being out of standard in order to drive in the middle of the night can be hazardous because it can possibly lead to the driver injuring someone or the driver being injured. Another reason is that it is the law enforcement officer’s job to ensure that vehicles are in tolerance as described by the traffic laws. Failure to do so can result in law enforcement personnel issuing traffic citations or even to have points deducted from the driver’s license.
In case of the “pat-down,” it is a very legal scenario because the car that the law enforcement officer pulled to the side fit the exact same description and in order to maintain safety, it is a requirement for the law enforcement personnel to pat-down the suspected vehicle’s driver. In order to maintain safety and to obtain potential clues that might lead to a deeper conclusion on the suspected vehicle. Another issue is that when it comes to the pat-down, there was no issue when it came to sexual interference. For example, on many prisons, females can’t pat down males and males can’t pat down females. In Officer Smith’s scenario, the driver is a female so she has every right to conduct a pat down if it means keeping the female driver’s safety and hers.
Exigent circumstances did exist for Officer Smith to give chase to this vehicle. We are talking about a vehicle that fits the same description of one related to a murder case, especially involving a police officer. Another reason is that the Officer instructed the female driver to provide identification of her driver’s information and license, which she refused to do. Professionally speaking, this can be considered as suspicious behavior and every attempt possible must be made in order to apprehend this female driver. However, having her fit every single category of a suspect vehicle does not ensure that the person was actually guilty. There’s definitely a whole lot of pressing matters when it comes to the high speed chase.
While Officer Smith was attempting to save the female driver after the atrocious accident against a telephone pole, she went back to make sure they had identifiable information on this female driver, which is mainly what she is supposed to do. The gun can be considered to be in plain view. However, the gun did not have to be obtained because it might not even have anything to do with the case. This can apply to the “Fruits of the Poisonous Tree.” (Roberson,C 2013) That weapon can be in there with the intent to serve as a main source of protection. Weapons nowadays require a member to sign up for them and