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Law is currently perceived by many as a set of technicalities used to keep criminals out of jail. Even those lawyers opposed to the Warren Court expansion of constitutional rights see such a view as an oversimplification, a shibboleth - a shibboleth, how ever, to which the facts in Michigan v. Long 1 seem tailor-made.
One night, in a rural area, a car was travelling erratically and at excessive speed. It swerved into a ditch. Police officers stopped to investigate. The car's occupant, who was at the rear of the car, and "appeared to be under the influence of something," failed to respond to a request for registration and license. He turned and began walking to the open door of the car. The officers, who were following, saw a knife on the floorboard, whereupon they stopped the occupant and subjected him to a patdown search.
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Warren Court, search, seizure, marihuana