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State concedes traffic stop was invalid

May 10, 2012

On the appeal of a woman’s conviction of possession of marijuana, the state conceded that the traffic stop that led to the discovery of the drug was invalid. The Indiana Court of Appeals accordingly reversed the conviction.

Allison Riggle was driving in Indianapolis when a police officer pulled her over. He saw her turn left from the eastbound lane of a street to the outer northbound lane of a four-lane road. The officer believed this was a traffic violation because Riggle didn’t turn into the lane closest to the center line.

The officer smelled marijuana and Riggle eventually admitted she had hidden some of the drug in her boot. She was charged with and convicted of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

In Allison Riggle v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1109-CR-472, Riggle cited Gunn v. State, 956 N.E.2d 136, 139 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), to support her argument that the traffic stop was invalid because she didn’t commit a traffic violation. The state agreed with her argument. The appellate court agreed too, and it ordered the conviction be vacated.

 

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