In this archive episode, Dennis explains how a certain case did not disallow officers from making prolonged motor vehicle stops when there is PC or awaiting K-9 Units. Recorded on 05/23/2018.
Rodriguez v US 2015 does not disallow Police Officers prolonging motor vehicle stops while awaiting the arrival of backup or a K9 Unit. It only required officers to have a Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity before doing so. Remember the timelines change when a traffic stop turns into a criminal investigation.
Citing Rodriguez – Criminal detentions generally require probable cause that the suspect is engaged in criminal activity, but an officer may conduct a traffic stop if the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the driver is engaging in criminal activity. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that investigative detentions, including traffic stops, “must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop.” Consequently, traffic stops may become unreasonable if they are unnecessarily prolonged.
When an officer conducts a traffic stop based on reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed a traffic violation, the Fourth Amendment permits the officer to conduct a number of investigative inquiries before resolving the traffic stop. For example, officers may question the vehicle’s occupants about matters unrelated to the traffic violation, and officers may walk a drug detection dog around the outside of the vehicle during the stop. Officers may briefly prolong traffic stops to conduct these inquiries so long as the officer performs his tasks in an amount of time “reasonably needed to effectuate” the law enforcement purpose of the stop.