State v. AndersonAnnotate this Case
Defendant was parked on the side of a highway with his hazard lights flashing when two sheriff’s deputies stopped to check on his welfare. The officers subsequently discovered marijuana in Defendant’s vehicle. The State charged Defendant with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained from his vehicle. The district court denied the motion to suppress, ruling that the stop was justified by the community caretaking doctrine. After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of the charges. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the deputies seized Defendant when they pulled behind his parked vehicle with blue and red lights flashing; but (2) the community caretaking doctrine justified the stop under the facts of this case, and therefore, the seizure did not violate the Fourth Amendment.