In this archive episode, Dennis stresses the importance and legality of separating drivers and passengers during interdiction. Recorded on 04/17/2018.

Pennsylvania V. Mimms – (1977)…/federal/us/434/106/case.html

Police may order driver out of the vehicle without criminal activity or RAS.

Bare this in mind…..if you do not suspect the vehicle of criminality don’t get into the habit of ordering driver out of vehicle.

State v Brian K. Smith (1997) – Once the vehicle was stopped, Trooper Long was permitted to request Smith to exit the vehicle for the purpose of investigation of the suspected motor vehicle violation.…/appella…/1997/a3449-95-opn.html

See State of NJ v. Brian L. Smith (1994) that stated that the Mimms test, as applied to drivers, satisfies the NJ constitution as well.…/supreme…/1994/a-28-93-opn.html

The court stated that “Instances will surface in which police officers, with less than a reasonable suspicion that a passenger is engaged in criminal activity or is armed and dangerous, may reasonably order a passenger to step out of a car.”

The officer does not need to point out specific facts that the occupant is armed and dangerous rather the officer needs only to point out some fact or facts in the totality of the circumstances that would warrant a heightend caution.


Proximity to traffic.

Bad weather; Poor visibility.

Suspicious gestures by passenger(s) (Never say furtive movements, explain what you saw in detail).

Ability to control the movements of several occupants.

Ability to control the actions of bystanders.

Suspicion of Criminal Activity.


STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS BRIAN K. SMITH, ET AL :: 1997 :: New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division – Published Opinions Decisions :: New Jersey Case Law :: New Jersey Law :: US Law :: Justia

Police may not routinely ask passengers out of a vehicle that has been stopped for a traffic violation.

HOWEVER, NJ law states passengers can be asked out of the vehicle, when an officer is able to point to some specific fact(s) that would warrant a heightened caution.

This can be anything to include R.A.S. (State v. Brian L. Smith 1994).

This does not have to include a danger factor.…/supreme-court/2017/a-9-15.html