People v. Cummings,2016 IL 115769 (January 2016). Episode 131 (Duration 4:38)
Remember, the case where the officer stops a car because the owner is a women with a warrant? The officer quickly discovers the driver is a man and arrests him for suspended license.
Well, in light of Rodriguez v. United States the United States Supreme Court asked the Illinois Supreme Court to take another look at this case.
Here the initial stop was lawful, because the officer knew the registered owner of the car had a warrant, thus “the driver was subject to seizure.”
But the officer’s reasonable suspicion that the driver was subject to arrest disappeared when he saw that the driver was a man and not, a woman.
The interest in officer safety permits a driver’s license request of a driver lawfully stopped. Such ordinary inquiries are part of the stop’s mission and do not prolong the stop, for fourth amendment purposes. Asking for driver’s license is part of the normal attending to a traffic stop, so this driver’s suspended DL status is admissible even the officer quickly determined the driver was a man and not the registered owner who was a women.
A traffic stop is analogous to a Terry stop, and its permissible duration is determined by the seizure’s mission. Every traffic stop inherently includes traffic enforcement and “related safety concerns.” Those related safety concerns include ‘ordinary inquiries incident to [the traffic] stop,’ ” and typically “involve checking the driver’s license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver, and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of insurance.”
Ordinary inquiries within the traffic stop’s mission clearly do not offend the fourth amendment. Additionally, officer safety justifies a check for criminal a record and outstanding warrants. Ordinary inquiries incident to the stop do not prolong the stop beyond its original mission, because those inquiries are a part of that mission.