An officer noticed a car with its tail light out and stopped it. He asked the driver for license and registration and noticed that there was a passenger in the car. The driver informed the officer that he was driving his friend home and the car belonged to his friend. The officer asked both of them to come out of the car and look at the tail light. When they stepped out, the officer noticed that the man who owned the car was intoxicated. He stumbled while stepping out of his car and had slurred speech.
The officer flashed his light around in the car and saw a few empty beer cans. The owner was sitting on the grass near the car and looking nauseous. The officer asked him if it was all right to look inside his car. The owner put his hand up, waved, and said “Whatever, go.” Then the officer searched the car.
He looked in the area between the seats and reached under them. There he found crack cocaine rocks. After this discovery, he arrested both the driver and the owner of the car.
Prepare a report in Microsoft Word to advise the prosecution on the admissibility of the evidence. Cover the following points:
- Was the officer given proper consent to search the car under Schneckloth v. Bustamonte (1973)? Explain.
- Should the officer have asked the driver or car owner for consent under Illinois v. Rodriguez (1990)? Why?
- If proper consent was provided, was the officer allowed to search under the car seat under Florida v. Jimeno? Explain.
- What factors could be added to the scenario to strengthen the admissibility of the cocaine seizure? Why? What factors, if added, would weaken the admissibility of the cocaine seizures? Explain.