Posts tagged "1009717"

Commonwealth v. Cordero (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-097-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12210   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  GABRIEL CORDERO.       Berkshire.     February 14, 2017. – June 1, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Search and Seizure, Motor vehicle, Threshold police inquiry, Reasonable suspicion.  Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Investigatory stop, Reasonable suspicion.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.  Controlled Substances.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on May 11, 2015.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by John A. Agostini, J.   An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Duffly, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by her to the Appeals Court.  The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Merritt Schnipper for the defendant. Joseph G.A. Coliflores, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GAZIANO, J.  We address in this case the authority of a police officer to prolong a routine traffic stop in order to investigate suspected, unrelated criminal activity.  The defendant argues that State police troopers and local police officers unreasonably detained him beyond the time required to accomplish the purposes of a traffic stop, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and art. 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, and thus that evidence seized from the trunk of his vehicle must be suppressed.  The Commonwealth contends, in contrast, that an officer is not required to ignore incriminating facts that arise during the traffic stop, and that the facts gave rise to a reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant was engaged in criminal activity.  After a Superior Court judge denied the defendant’s motion to suppress, a single justice of this court allowed the defendant’s motion for interlocutory review by the Appeals Court, and we allowed the defendant’s application for direct appellate review.  We conclude that once a police officer has completed the investigation of a defendant’s civil traffic violations, and the facts do not give rise to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officer is required to permit the defendant to drive away.  Therefore, we reverse the order denying the defendant’s motion to suppress.[1] Facts.  We present the facts as found by the motion judge, supplemented by uncontroverted testimony at the motion hearing.  Commonwealth v. Isaiah I., […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

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