A passenger has a right to object to the seizure of a vehicle in which the passenger was riding. In the United States Supreme Court case of Brendlin v. California, 551 U.S. 249 (2007), the Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment Right against unlawful stop and detention was a right that a passenger could object to in court via a motion to suppress.
In Brendlin, a car was pulled over without any reason, probable cause or articulable suspicion of criminal activity. After the vehicle was stopped, the passenger was searched and was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. The passenger moved to suppress the evidence on the grounds that the vehicle was illegally stopped.
The prosecution argued that since the driver was the person actually pulled over and the passenger was not the target of the traffic stop, the passenger did not have standing to object to the illegal stop of the vehicle regardless of what happened to the passenger.
The defense argued, and the Supreme Court agreed, that once the officers pulled over the car a reasonable person in the passenger’s situation would believe that they were not free to leave the scene and as a result the passenger was in fact seized under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, if the passenger was seized under the Fourth Amendment, then the passenger has a right for the court to hear his motion to suppress.
If you were a passenger in a car and were arrested, you have, by law in Georgia, search and seizure rights regarding why the car you were traveling in was stopped by law enforcement.
If you are facing a charge that could result in a license suspension in North Georgia or Hall County, you should consider consulting a lawyer that is knowledgeable in the field. This helps to provide that best possible defenses and make the more well informed decisions regarding your rights and options when considering how best to maintain your driver’s license and avoid suspension.
At A. Bishop Law, our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney welcomes questions on Criminal Defense laws, Traffic Laws and Georgia DUI laws. Please Call or Email us with any questions.
About the attorney: Anne Bishop is a Georgia Lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWI, Marijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch), Jackson County (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.