In a recent opinion from an Arizona court, the defendant’s motion to suppress incriminating evidence was denied. After having been found guilty of illegally possessing firearms, the defendant argued in his appeal that the state trooper who stopped him and found his gun had no right to pull him over in the first place. The court disagreed, saying that because the defendant had extensively violated traffic laws, there was ample reason for the trooper to conduct the traffic stop that eventually led to the trooper finding incriminating evidence.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, an Arizona State Trooper pulled the defendant over for failing to remain within a traffic lane. Approaching the vehicle, the officer asked the defendant if he had any weapons in the vehicle; the defendant denied having any firearms in his car, but the officer immediately saw and seized an AR-15 pistol from near the front driver’s seat. At the time of the traffic stop, the defendant was prohibited from possessing weapons as a condition of his felony probation. His fingerprint was later found on the pistol.
At trial, the government found the defendant guilty of possessing a firearm while being a prohibited possessor and of failing to accurately answer the trooper’s questions regarding a concealed firearm.