Can a Person Be Convicted of Firearm Offenses If a Search Occured After a Legal Stop for Speeding ?
In Commonwealth v. Sierra, 555 Pa. 170, 723 A.2d 644 (Pa. 1999), our Supreme Court considered a search that occurred after a legal stop for speeding.
The officer decided to give Sierra a written warning.
After handing Sierra the warning, the officer asked him if there was anything illegal in the car.
Sierra responded no, and then asked the officer if he would like to look.
The officer accepted the invitation but asked Sierra to first exit the vehicle and submit to a pat-down search. During the pat-down search, a gun was discovered which ultimately led to a conviction on firearm offenses. the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of this court reversing Sierra's conviction.
Of importance to us is the Court's conclusion that a reasonable person would not feel free to leave the scene of a traffic stop while police continued questioning them.