Murphy v. Commonwealth

In Murphy v. Commonwealth, 9 Va. App. 139, 384 S.E.2d 125 (1989), the defendant made a legal right turn onto a public street approximately 350 feet from a police roadblock. The police officer admitted that the defendant's actions were no different from those of anyone lawfully turning into the street. The defendant's driving was unremarkable, other than his turn before reaching the checkpoint. In concluding that the defendant's behavior supported no more than a "hunch" of criminal activity, we held that the act of a driver in making a lawful right turn 350 feet before a roadblock does not give rise to a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity unless the driver's turn or action is coupled with other articulable facts, such as erratic driving, a traffic violation, or some behavior which independently raises suspicion of criminal activity. Murphy, 9 Va. App. at 145, 384 S.E.2d at 128.