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Justia Opinion Summary

The Supreme Court of Nevada reviewed a case involving appellant David McCord, who was stopped by law enforcement due to a license plate frame partially covering the word "NEVADA." Law enforcement subsequently found contraband in McCord's car, leading to his conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance. McCord contested the legality of the traffic stop, arguing that the license plate frame did not constitute "foreign materials" as outlined in NRS 482.275(4), and that his license plate was "clearly legible" as the statute requires.

The court held that a license plate frame does not constitute "foreign materials" under NRS 482.275(4), and that a license plate is "clearly legible" if the required registration information is readily identifiable. The court reasoned that the term "foreign materials" should not be interpreted to include all license plate frames, as this could potentially lead to arbitrary or pretextual traffic stops. It also determined that even though the license plate frame partially covered the word "NEVADA," the license plate was still legible as the essential information was readily identifiable.

The court concluded that the law enforcement officer lacked probable cause to justify the traffic stop for a violation of NRS 482.275(4). Consequently, the district court had erred in finding that the traffic stop was reasonable and in denying the motion to suppress evidence seized during the stop. The court reversed the judgment of conviction and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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