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Brendlin v. California

United States Supreme Court
551 U.S. 249 (2007)



On November 27, 2001, police officers pulled Karen Simeroth (defendant) over to check on her vehicle’s permit. The state admitted that the stop was unfounded. One of the officers recognized the passenger, Bruce Brendlin (defendant), and thought he might be a parole violator. After verifying that Brendlin was a parole violator with an outstanding warrant, the officer ordered Brendlin out of the car and placed him under arrest. During a search, the officers found drug paraphernalia. The officers also found drugs and paraphernalia on Simeroth and in the car. Brendlin was charged with drug possession and manufacture. Brendlin moved to suppress the evidence on the grounds that the initial traffic stop was an unlawful seizure. The trial court denied the motion and held that Brendlin was only seized when ordered out of the car and arrested. Brendlin pled guilty and was sentenced to four years incarceration. The Supreme Court of California affirmed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

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