Rehearing upholds drug conviction resulting from traffic stop

August 20, 2015

An Indianapolis man who got a second bite at the apple could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his traffic stop lasted too long.

After being pulled over for a traffic violation, Jamar Washington was found to have drugs in his car by police. He was subsequently convicted for dealing in cocaine, a Class A felony.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, finding the actions of the police did not unreasonably prolong the traffic stop. Washington then petitioned for a rehearing in light of the Supreme Court of the United State’s decision in Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015).

In Rodriguez, the Supreme Court held that police stops which last longer than is needed to handle the matter that initiated the stop violate the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

The Court of Appeals noted in its original decision in Washington, it had examined whether the stop extended beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission of issuing a ticket. At that time, the appellate court pointed out the police dog sniffed drugs about 11 minutes after Washington was pulled over.

 Then the COA determined the stop was not unreasonably prolonged. On rehearing, the panel reaffirmed its decision, finding the ruling did not conflict with Rodriguez.  

The case is Jamar Washington v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1405-CR-306.



Recent Articles by Marilyn Odendahl