Reasonable Articulable Suspicion Traffic Stop In Delaware
The issue before the Court has been addressed by the Delaware Supreme Court in Jones v. State, Del. Supr., 1999 WL 1259008.
The Court noted in Jones that "... the United States Supreme Court held that a police officer may detain an individual for investigatory purposes for a limited scope and duration, but only if such detention is supported by a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity." (Citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968).
The Court went on to define reasonable, articulable suspicion as an "... officer's ability to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion ... ." Jones citing Coleman v. State, Del. Supr., 562 A.2d 1171, 1174 (1989).
The Court further reasoned that reasonable suspicion must be evaluated by looking at the "totality of circumstances" as viewed by a reasonable officer in the same circumstances and combining the objective facts with the officer's interpretation of these facts.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This Amendment applies to the states through the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Further, the Delaware Constitution has similar language in Article 1 6 which guarantees the people of the State of Delaware the right to be secure "... in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures."