Sanders v. StateAnnotate this Case
Defendant was stopped by a police officer due to his darkly-shaded tinted windows. The police officer smelled marijuana and subsequently searched Defendant's person, where he found cocaine. The State charged Defendant with felony possession of cocaine. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that the officer lacked probable cause to stop him and search his person. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that, although the tint of the windows on Defendant's car was within the statutorily defined limits, the officer's good faith subjective belief of Defendant's violation of a traffic law was enough to justify the initial stop. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the officer had reasonable suspicion that the tint on Defendant's vehicle's windows was in violation of the window tint statute, and therefore, the initial stop was justified; (2) the officer had probable cause to search Defendant's person after smelling marijuana; and (3) because the search was legal, the trial court correctly denied Defendant's motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the search.