Discovery of Drugs Behind the Backseat After Traffic Stop for For Speeding
In Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366, 157 L. Ed. 2d 769, 124 S. Ct. 795 (2003), the defendant was the front-seat passenger of a vehicle occupied by three men that was stopped by a police officer for speeding. Pringle, 540 U.S. at 368, 157 L. Ed. 2d at 773, 124 S. Ct. at 798.
A consensual search of the vehicle led to the discovery of cocaine behind the backseat armrest and, after all three occupants denied any knowledge of the cocaine, to the arrest of all three men. Pringle, 540 U.S. at 368, 369, 157 L. Ed. 2d at 774, 124 S. Ct. at 798.
The issue before the United States Supreme Court was whether the police officer had probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a crime. Pringle, 540 U.S. at 370, 157 L. Ed. 2d at 775, 124 S. Ct. at 799.