WASHINGTON (AP) ?? The Supreme Court will decide whether police have probable cause to make a traffic stop if it turns out the officer was mistaken in thinking the driver violated the law.
The justices on Monday said they will hear an appeal from a North Carolina man who claims his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was pulled over for having a burned-out brake light. The police officer ultimately found cocaine in the car and the driver and his passenger were convicted of drug trafficking.
A state appeals court ruled the stop was impermissible because state law only required a car to have one functioning brake light. But a divided North Carolina Supreme Court reversed, finding the stop was permitted if the officer's mistake about the law was reasonable.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.