Case Study: Gillette V. US

802 Words 4 Pages
Illinois State Trooper Daniel Gillette stopped Mr. Caballes for speeding on an interstate highway. Trooper reported the traffic stop to dispatch, at this time, a second trooper with the drug interdiction team responded to the location of the stop. K9 Trooper Craig Graham and his K9 partner arrived on location to find the offender seated in the Trooper Gillette’s car and the offenders car on the side of the roadway. While the first trooper was writing the offender a ticket, Graham walked his partner around the offender’s vehicle. The K9 alerted at the trunk of the offender’s vehicle and based on the alert a subsequent search of the trunk was conducted. Upon completion of the search, marijuana was seized and the offender arrested. The entire …show more content…
Cabballes’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure due the circumstances surrounding the case. The court went onto analyze the traffic stop completed by Trooper Gillette and if the use of the narcotics K9 unjustifiably changed the scope of a routine traffic stop. First, the traffic stop was determined to be a justifiable seizure based on the probable cause and was deemed to be a lawful stop based on the traffic infraction. Second, the court determined the duration of the stop was justified based off of the traffic infraction and the inquiry into the stop. While a lawful stop can become unlawful if it infringes on the rights of the citizen if it is prolonged beyond a reasonable time to complete the reason for the stop, ie: to issue a traffic warning. If the stop had been unjustifiably long, then the scan by the narcotic K9 would’ve been considered unjustifiable and the evidence would’ve been suppressed as in People v. Cox, 146 N.E.2d 19. The Supreme Court didn’t review the conversation between the originating officer and the times of the call because the State Supreme Court ruled the stop to be completely justified. Third, the use of the K9 was not considered unlawful because the character of the stop wasn’t changed by the use of the K9 due to the stop be lawfully conducted at the inception for the traffic violation. Finally, it is viewed that there is no …show more content…
Justice Souter affirmed the judgment by the Supreme Court of Illinois, that using the K9 for the purpose of determining the presence of contraband in the trunk was unauthorized based on the premise of the stop for a traffic infraction. Justice Ginsburg joined Souter in dissenting the opinion from the other Justices. In the dissent, stating the expansion of the initial seizure from a traffic stop that turned into a drug investigation changed the scope in a manor that was nonconsensual, even if the use of K9 isn’t considered a Fourth Amendment search. The reasoning behind this is the state failed to provide proper justification for the use of the K9 scan due to the lack of evidence that there was contraband in the car; ie: odor of marijuana or presence of illegal drugs. The use of the K9 also broadened the scope of the initial traffic related seizure; by injecting the use of the K9 into the traffic stop it changed the characteristics of the entire interaction between the officer and

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