The United States Supreme Court Will Be Delving Into the “Automobile Exception” to the Warrant Requirement of the Fourth Amendment This Term

As of this writing, there are no published criminal cases decided today in the United States Supreme Court, the Illinois Courts, or the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. So I decided to pick up an article of interest in SCOTUS blog because traffic stops are so commonplace, leading to charges that require competent defense counsel.

In this case, the police were after a motorcyclist who eluded them at high speed. The officers used social media to lead them to a privateway driveway which had what appeared to be a motorcycle covered by a white motorcycle cover, obscuring the motorcycle.

The officers immediately uncovered the tarp without asking for consent nor did they attempt to obtain a warrant. Once uncovered, the officers were able to observe the license plate and VIN. They ran them and found the motorcycle to be stolen.

The trial court denied a motion to suppress, finding the automobile exception to the warrant requirement to be applicable despite the fact that the vehicle was not on the road. The Virginia appellate court and the State Supreme Court affirmed.

Oral argument is scheduled for this term. An excellent account on this subject can be found here: 
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