July 28th, 2018
United States v. Villafranco-Elizondo
Opinion Date: July 27, 2018
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of defendant's motion to suppress evidence from a traffic stop. The court held that the initial traffic stop was valid; and when the license check began, the officer had already developed reasonable suspicion that another crime was afoot. In this case, defendant's answers to some of the officer's questions were suspicious and there were modifications to the vehicle's trailer that could, and did, contain a hidden compartment containing contraband. Therefore, the totality of the circumstances led the officers, based on their training and experience, to conclude that the trailer contained a hidden compartment—a conclusion that, with all the other circumstances, supported probable cause.
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