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Fourth Amendment

St. Mary's Law Journal

2004

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Stranded In The Wastelands Of Unregulated Roadway Police Powers: Can Reasonable Officers Ever Rescue Us., Keith S. Hampton Jan 2004

Stranded In The Wastelands Of Unregulated Roadway Police Powers: Can Reasonable Officers Ever Rescue Us., Keith S. Hampton

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Article describes the present state of roadway police power and explores the vulnerability of drivers and occupants to police abuse, specifically using pretextual stops. Today, state and federal courts have made many police power accommodations to the constitutional reasonableness requirement. Current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence justifies almost all conceivable police seizures of people in vehicles. If the police officer can point out any traffic law violation, he can arrest. And if he can arrest under those circumstances, then the already blurred line between detentions and arrest becomes inconsequential, constitutionally speaking. This Article proposes that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals …