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Heien v. North Carolina, 13-604

In this search and seizure case, a police officer stopped petitioner's vehicle because one of its two brake lights was out, but a court later determined that a single working brake light was all the law required and was not grounds for a stop. During the stop, petitioner gave his consent to allow the officer to search the vehicle, and was subsequently arrest and charged with attempted trafficking after cocaine was found inside. The decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversing the denial of petitioner's motion to suppress the seized evidence is reversed in turn, where the officer's mistaken understanding of the law was reasonable, and thus the stop was valid.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 12/15/2014
  • Published 12/15/2014


  • Roberts


  • United States Supreme Court


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