Is Consent to Search Voluntary After Police Officer Already Gave the Driver a Warning ?
In People v. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556 (2008), cosby was pulled over for a traffic violation.
After obtaining Cosby's information, the officer returned to his squad car and requested backup.
The officer returned to Cosby's car after the backup arrived, returned Cosby's information, and gave Cosby a warning.
The officer then asked Cosby for consent to search his vehicle.
Cosby consented, and the subsequent search revealed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.
The supreme court emphasized that the traffic stop ended when the officer returned Cosby's information and gave him a warning. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556.
Thus, the focus of the court's analysis was on the officer's post-stop actions. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556.
Because consent to search is valid only if it was voluntarily given (see, e.g., People v. Terry, 379 Ill. App. 3d 288, 883 N.E.2d 716, 318 Ill. Dec. 485 (2008)), the court had to address first whether Cosby had been illegally seized at the time the officer requested consent to search. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556.
Applying the principles of United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 64 L. Ed. 2d 497, 100 S. Ct. 1870 (1980), and People v. Brownlee, 186 Ill. 2d 501, 713 N.E.2d 556, 239 Ill. Dec. 25 (1999), the court determined that no seizure occurred, and that Cosby's consent was therefore voluntarily given. Cosby, 231 Ill. 2d 262, 898 N.E.2d 603, 325 Ill. Dec. 556.