Iowa Supreme Court Rules On Search and Seizure Traffic Stop

The Iowa Supreme Court recently overturned the conviction of Jayel Coleman, who was arrested after he was discovered driving while barred. 

Coleman was driving his sister’s car when Eldridge police officer James Morris pulled him over. Morris had been checking license plates for stolen vehicles when he came across the car Coleman was driving. The car was registered to Coleman’s sister, whose license was suspended at the time. Unable to determine whether a man or woman was driving, Morris pulled Coleman over. However, shortly after pulling him over, the officer determined that the driver was a male and not a female. Nevertheless, the officer approached the vehicle and asked Coleman for his license. He then determined that Coleman was driving while barred, which led to his arrest.

The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Morris did not have the right to ask for Coleman’s license, stating that once the reason for the traffic stop had been resolved and the officer determined that it was not Coleman’s suspended sister who was driving, Coleman should have been allowed to continue on immediately without being asked to produce his license. This ruling could change the way that police conduct routine traffic stops in the future.

Read the article here.