After a traffic stop is complete, law enforcement must let the driver go, unless they have established reasonable suspicion that the driver is involved in criminal activity. If they determine there is reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, they can justify continued detention. Otherwise, the detention is illegal, and all evidence found pursuant to the illegal detention must be suppressed or thrown out of court.
If the mission of the interstate drug stop was completed, but the driver was detained for a longer period of time, it is considered unlawful detention in Nebraska. Berry Law’s legal team can help determine whether police had reasonable suspicion to detain you, probable cause to bring in the drug dog, or proper consent to search your vehicle.
After Getting Pulled Over
Once the vehicle is stopped, law enforcement can only detain you long enough to effectuate the mission of the traffic stop. That means they can pull you over and can only hold you long enough to give you a ticket or a warning.
In interstate drug cases, law enforcement usually takes the driver to the police cruiser, puts them in the passenger seat, and starts asking questions. While this is very different from what Nebraska drivers typically deal with during traffic stops, the law allows police to do this. However, police still can only detain long enough to complete the mission of the traffic stop, meaning they can’t start asking irrelevant questions.
When they start asking questions, it may fall outside the scope of the stop. State law allows police to ask about the purpose and destination of travel but does not allow them to start asking questions about your personal life, your past employment, and other things unless they have reasonable suspicion to expand the traffic stop.
Understanding vs Exercising the Right to Remain Silent
The problem is, a lot of people know they have the right to remain silent, but they don’t have the ability to remain silent. When you speak with law enforcement, that information can be used to establish reasonable suspicion to continue to detain you, to bring a drug dog onto the scene, or to search your vehicle.
Sometime, people come back from Colorado, and while they don’t admit to being involved in criminal activity, they will talk about their friends and passengers being involved in criminal activity. Once they’re arrested, that information can be used to search the car. Sometimes it’s valid, but other times it’s a stretch.
If you tell police that your friend consumed marijuana in Colorado but that you did not partake, there’s nothing illegal about that. However, it could raise suspicion about whether that is being transported through Nebraska. If that is the case, then law enforcement is going to take a serious look at that.
Giving a Statement
If you do give a statement, our team will examine whether you were under arrest and properly Mirandized prior. These are all ways in which we can dissect an interstate drug stop case. If you were stopped in another state, talk to the local attorneys – they know what’s going on in the interdiction programs.
Let a Nebraska Lawyer Investigate whether Your Detention during an Interstate Drug Stop Was Unlawful
Many of these encounters start off as very friendly and don’t seem coercive, but when we review the evidence, we’re not looking for what it seems to be – we’re looking for what is actually going on.
While law enforcement may be applying great negotiation tactics by being very nice to you, they may be creating a coercive situation. These officers are trained in investigative techniques, and it may be that, even though they’re smiling and it looks like a positive encounter, the reality is that your constitutional rights have been violated. To learn more about unlawful detention during interstate traffic stops in Nebraska, call Berry Law today.