Michigan v. Long
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREMEM COURT OF MICHIGAN
David Long, who was driving at excessive speed when the car swerved into a ditch, the two police officer who were patrolling the area, went to investigate and was met by respondent. Long was questioned by the police officers. As the officers said that he “appeared to be under the influence of something.” He didn’t show his license and registration when the police office asked him to. When he was walking towards his car the officers noticed a hunting knife on the floor of the car. So then the officers stopped him and did a patdown search which revealed no weapons. One of the offices shined his flash light into the car and found a bag. And the officer opened the bag, he found marijuana. The officers impounded the car after they found marihuana, and more marijuana was found in the trunk of the car. So long was arrested for drug possession. .
Long argued during his trial that the evidence found in his car should be suppressed because the search was unconstitutional. The same argument was advanced during his appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. In each case, the court ruled against suppressing the evidence. However the Michigan Supreme Court reversed, relying on Terry v. Ohio. The Supreme Court ruled that the search violated the fourth amendment, and the illegal “fruit” (marijuana) should be discarded.
The protective search of the passenger compartment of respondent's car was reasonable under the principles articulated in Terry and other decisions of this Court. Protection of police and others can justify protective searches when police have a reasonable belief that the suspect poses a danger. The fact that respondent was under the officers control during the investigative stop doesn’t render unreasonable belief that he could injure them.