The law on vehicle stops has several guidelines that apply for the stop to be considered legal. There is no need for a warrant or probable cause to legally stop a motor vehicle, but there must be reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity. Whether an officer has reasonable suspicion will depend on the facts of the scenario as it unfolds. Once a stop takes place, whether a search is indeed warranted will also depend on the facts at hand. It is important to keep in mind that the objective guidelines are going to be supported by the subjective interpretation of the facts by the police officer conducting the stop. It is at this point that the testimony and evidence become critical in supporting any decisions made to stop and/or search a vehicle.
In this assignment, you will have an opportunity to use critical thinking skills, in combination with a media simulation, to determine what the grounds for stop and search are, and how you might handle a similar situation.
Review the Motor Vehicle – Evidence and Procedure media piece, and then, prepare a three-page paper citing a minimum of two academically verified references.
In your paper:
- Assess whether reasonable suspicion or probable cause existed to stop the vehicle in the scenario.
- Analyze whether the officer should have looked to see if there was evidence of a crime before stopping the vehicle in the scenario.
- Evaluate whether the officer could have detained the occupants of the vehicle at the scene while the other officer checked the business.
- Explore whether the officer had the right to search the vehicle or whether the consent from the driver is needed.
Create a 3 page essay using APA format in accordance to the instructions above. Use 2 academically reviewed sources for references. Be sure to utilize in-text citations. The Motor Vehicle- Evidence and Procedure Transcript will be in the link below for your assessment.