Criminal Defense

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules on Issue of Anonymous Tips and Traffic Stops

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Thursday September 25, 2014

Last month in State v. Rodriguez, 288 Neb. 878 (2014), the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Nebraska Court of Appeals in a case involving charges of Driving Under the Influence and drug possession, holding that in order for an anonymous call in and of itself to provide sufficient reasonable cause for law enforcement to commit a traffic stop, the anonymous caller must be reporting ongoing criminal activity. In Rodriguez, the anonymous caller reported that he had been pushed out of Defendant’s moving vehicle and provided a description of the vehicle to law enforcement. In its analysis of past precedent on the issue of anonymous calls as providing reasonable cause for a traffic stop, the Court focused on the issue of whether or not an “ongoing crime” had been reported. The Court determined the anonymous call did not by itself create sufficient reasonable cause for the traffic stop conducted on Defendant’s vehicle and remanded the case for a new trial on the charge of DUI.

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