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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Criminal Law: Traffic Stop – Miranda Warning – Sentencing

Criminal Law: Traffic Stop – Miranda Warning – Sentencing

(1)Where an officer testified credibly that a defendant’s vehicle momentarily crossed onto the shoulder of the road, there was a violation of a Nebraska statute sufficient for probable cause to support the traffic stop, and the officer’s questions about drug use did not improperly exceed the scope of a normal traffic stop because the officer asked the questions to eliminate drug use as a possible cause of swerving, and the officer was not required to give the Miranda warnings before questioning since the defendant was not subjected to restraints comparable to a formal arrest.

(2)Where a defendant told an officer there was marijuana in his motor home, the officer had probable cause to search the vehicle for drugs and could also perform a protective sweep, including an area under a bed, which could hide a person, since a motor home in transit is being used as a vehicle, which gave the defendant a reduced expectation of privacy.

(3)Where a defendant had a 1998 conviction for robbery and aggravated assault in Georgia, the offenses met the definition of a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act, and a 1999 conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a 1994 attempted sale conviction also qualified as a serious drug offenses under the act, so the district court did not err in finding the defendant eligible for sentencing enhancement under the act.

Judgment is affirmed.

U.S. v. Coleman (MLW No. 64355/Case No. 12-1400 – 14 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Riley, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, Kopf, J. (Matthew Richard Kahler, Omaha, Nebraska, argued for appellant) (Matt R. Molsen, Lincoln, Nebraska, argued for appellee).

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