Watch What You Say In A Traffic Stop

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

The court ruled that a motorist stopped for a traffic infraction is not automatically considered to be "in custody".

Because the driver is not in custody, or under arrest, the officer who stops that person does not have to remind them of their right to remain silent.

If we do say something that later leads to our arrest, in the case decided today, the state's highest court says that information can be used in court.

The ruling comes in the case of a Pennsylvania man who was convicted of possession with intent to deliver 125 pounds of marijuana.

Sixty-three-year-old Millard Landis was stopped by state troopers on Interstate 80 near Lincoln in November 2008.

Court records say the drugs were found during a search of Landis'
vehicle. Landis was sentenced to two-to-four years.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals threw out his conviction in June saying Landis was not properly informed of his rights under the Miranda ruling.

Because of that, statements Landis gave to troopers and the drugs confiscated from his vehicle shouldn't have been used against him in court.

The state Supreme Court reinstated the conviction after ruling that Landis was not in custody at the time, so his statements were voluntary.


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