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118 Yale L. J. 177 (2008-2009)
Discovering Arrest Warrants: Intervening Police Conduct and Foreseeability

handle is hein.journals/ylr118 and id is 179 raw text is: COMMENT

Discovering Arrest Warrants:
Intervening Police Conduct and Foreseeability
On July 8, 2001 in Lake Park, Florida, Anthony Frierson was sitting in his
.1981 Plymouth sedan on Old Dixie Highway waiting for the light to turn
green. Once the green turn arrow appeared, he turned left without using his
signal. Although turning without a signal does not violate Florida traffic laws,'
Officer Steven Miller observed Frierson making the turn and pulled him over
illegally.2 When asked, Frierson provided the officer with his license, which
Miller used to run a warrants check. The check revealed an outstanding
warrant for Frierson's arrest for failure to appear in traffic court. On the basis
of that warrant, Officer Miller arrested Frierson and conducted a search
incident to arrest. That search revealed an illegal firearm, for which Frierson
was charged and later convicted.3
In State v. Frierson, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the conviction,
permitting entry of the firearm into evidence. The court reasoned that the
outstanding arrest warrant was a judicial order directing the arrest of
respondent whenever the respondent was located, and thus the search was
incident to the outstanding warrant and not incident to the illegal stop.4
Although the suspicionless traffic stop violated the Federal Constitution, the
1.  State v. Riley, 638 So. 2d 507 (Fla. 1994).
2. A traffic stop violates the Fourth Amendment if the officer lacks probable cause or
reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity 'may be afoot.'
United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7 (1989) (quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30
3. State v. Frierson, 926 So. 2d 1139 (Fla. 2006).
4. Id. at 1144.


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