United States v. Richmond
Opinion Date: February 8, 2019
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
After defendant pleaded guilty to trafficking in meth, she moved to suppress evidence, arguing that an officer's tap of her tire was a search not supported by probable cause. The district court denied the motion. The Fifth Circuit held that the brief physical examination of the tire was subject to the Fourth Amendment under the recently revived trespass test for deciding what is a search. However, the officer had probable cause to tap the tire. In this case, the tires were wobbly, the truck was veering outside of its lane, and the stripped bolts gave a reasonable officer probable cause to believe that the tire posed a safety risk. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.
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