02 December 2008

Virginia Court of Appeals

Brannon v. Commonwealth (no. 1419-07-2): Hit and Run from an Injury Accident:

A minor fender bender does not give rise to an inference that the hitter should have known the hittee was injured. This is especially true when the hittee gets out of her car displaying no visible injuries and talks to the hitter before he flees.

Whitehead v. Commonwealth (no. 0040-08-1): Magical Dog Non-Search and Subsequent Physical Search of Car Passengers:

Drugs found on right-rear passenger after dog alerted at driver's side door admissible as car was searched first leaving passengers as only other place for drugs to be found.

Note: While I think the primary line of reasoning in this case is legitimate, there are some strange things in the dicta. For no discernible reason, in footnote 1 the Court absolutely fawns over the magical infallibility of dogs in their performance of non-searches. It ain't so.

The Court also distinguishes a Maryland opinion at least partially by the order in which the passengers of a car were searched. It's not really relevant (if the search of the last passenger is constitutional the search of the 2d should be as well); it's just something that's a little weird.


Anonymous said...

Nice article. they've just brought in sniffer dog 'searches' in public places over here, despite admitting tabled parliamentary evidence that in another state there is about a 75% false positive rate for random walk-by sniffings on busy city streets at lunch time.

They've finally reopened my access to your blog at work and boy have I a lot to catch up on.


Anonymous said...

I hope this means you are back in the game. You've got such a talent for this sort of thing.

Welcome back!