A Kansas deputy sheriff ran a license plate check on Glover’s pickup truck and found that the driver’s license had been revoked. The deputy then pulled the truck over, assuming Glover was driving. Glover was, in fact, driving and was charged with driving as a habitual violator. In response, Glover sought to suppress all evidence from the stop claiming the deputy lacked reasonable suspicion.
Whether the investigative traffic stop violated the Fourth Amendment due to a lack of reasonable suspicion.
The Supreme Court held that the investigative traffic stop made after running the pickup truck’s license plate and learning that the registered owner’s driver’s license had been revoked was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment when the officer lacked information negating an inference that the owner was driving the vehicle. The Court reversed and remanded the case to the District Court.
An officer may initiate a brief investigative traffic stop when he has “a particularized and objective basis” to suspect legal wrongdoing. The level of suspicion required is less than that necessary for probable cause and “depends on the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act.” A commonsense inference that the owner of a vehicle is likely the vehicle’s driver, combined with facts obtained from a database, can provide reasonable suspicion to initiate an investigative traffic stop.
206 L. Ed. 2d 412, 140 S. Ct. 1183 (2020)