How to Determine If a Prolonged Contact Following a Traffic Stop Was a Consensual Encounter or a Second Seizure ?
In People v, Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556 (2008), the Illinois Supreme Court considered -- in the consolidated appeals from the appellate court decisions in People v. Cosby, No. 100681, and People v. Mendoza, 102584 -- the proper analytical framework for determining whether a prolonged contact following a traffic stop was a consensual encounter or a second seizure.
Initially, the court reiterated its earlier holding in People v. Harris, 228 Ill. 2d 222, 886 N.E.2d 947, 319 Ill. Dec. 823 (2008), that, pursuant to Muehler v. Mena, 544 U.S. 93, 161 L. Ed. 2d 299, 125 S. Ct. 1465 (2005), a traffic stop could no longer become constitutionally infirm simply because the fundamental nature of the stop had changed. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d at 276, 898 N.E.2d at 612.
The Cosby court thus affirmed that the prong of People v. Gonzalez, 204 Ill. 2d 220, 789 N.E.2d 260, 273 Ill. Dec. 360 (2003), is no longer good law. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d at 276, 898 N.E.2d at 612.
The court then set out the analysis for resolving questions about the nature and propriety of a vehicle search and the extended questioning of a motorist who had previously been detained for a traffic violation.