New Mexico v. Leticia T.

Police officers were dispatched in response to reports of an armed subject pointing a rifle at several people from the window of a light beige or tan vehicle. After Defendant Leticia T. (Child) and children passengers were removed and detained, the officers conducted a warrantless search of the interior and trunk of the vehicle. The district court held that the warrantless search was justified by exigent circumstances. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court, ruling that the possibility of a person hiding in the trunk of a vehicle did not constitute exigency. The issue on appeal to the Supreme Court centered on the Court of Appeals' reversal. The Supreme Court conclude after a review of the district court record was that when police officers have probable cause and exigent circumstances to believe that an armed subject pointed a rifle at other individuals from a vehicle, officers may search the cab and the trunk of that same vehicle for the rifle. View "New Mexico v. Leticia T." on Justia Law