When Does a Seizure Occur When an Officer’s Vehicle Displays Emergency Lights That Directs a Vehicle to Stop?

Jeff Welty wrote a post in 2010 on when a seizure occurs after an officer operates emergency lights to order a driver to stop his or her vehicle. This post updates his post by summarizing the relatively recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case of State v. Mangum, ___ N.C. App. ___, 795 S.E.2d 106 (Dec. 6, 2016), review denied, ___ N.C. ___, 2017 WL 1086917 (March 16, 2017), which ruled on this issue and provides a useful summary of the case law in North Carolina and other jurisdictions.

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Seizure by Blocking One’s Path

The line between a consensual encounter and a seizure can be blurry. Generally, there is no seizure when an officer simply approaches a person and asks the person a question. But there is a seizure when an officer approaches a person with a show of authority that would make a reasonable person feel that he … Read more

Is the Use of a Blue Light a Show of Authority?

Today, the court of appeals decided State v. Baker.  Baker explains when a trial judge is required to make findings of fact when hearing a motion to suppress, and it raises what I think is an interesting search and seizure issue. The facts were as follows.  An officer was on patrol near a nursing facility … Read more