Evidence Observed at Checklane Allowed

In State v. Jackson 24 Kan.App.2d 38, 942 P.2d 640 (1997), the Court of Appeals reversed the district court's ruling. The District Court had suppressed the evidence of marijuana, which was obtained through a checkpoint. Despite the District Court's ruling, The Kansas Court of Appeals held that the checklane established in this particular case was constitutional. It evaluated several factors, such as whether the check points was established with safety in mind, limited the discretion of the officers, provided notice to the public, notified approaching motorists of the checklane by placing signs along road, and detained vehicles for just a short period.

In this case, law enforcement observed large bags of marijuana in the Defendant's pickup truck. The district court suppressed the bag of marijuana and on appeal, the Court of Appeals allowed the evidence. The Court did make note of the absence of advance

warning to the public at large does not by itself invalidate a checklane operation. They also noted that the presence of a drug-sniffing dog at a sobriety checkpoint is not a violation of the 4Th Amendment. Additionally, they noted that law enforcement is not required to ignore all offenses observed at a checklane, just because they are not traffic related. Also, the law enforcement does not have to provide drivers an opportunity to avoid a checklane.

If you were charged with a DUI or other crime after being stopped at a checkpoint, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case. A Kansas attorney can evaluate the factors and advise as to the best course of defending your case.

Categories: Criminal law
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