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Reasonable Suspicion – Traffic Stop

State v. Ibrahim Begicevic, 2004 WI App 57
For Begicevic: Donna J. Kuchler

Issue/Holding:

¶6. Kennedy had reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop. Viewed in isolation, some of what she observed was lawful behavior. It is lawful for a car to be on the roadway at 1:30 a.m. It is lawful for a car to be stopped at an angle within its lane of travel. On the other hand, it is unlawful for a car to stop beyond a clearly painted stop line.3

¶7. Kennedy was entirely reasonable in briefly stopping Begicevic in order to preserve the status quo until she could get more information. See Waldner, 206 Wis. 2d at 61. It was proper for Kennedy to investigate to determine if she could confirm her observations, from four hundred feet away, that Begicevic stopped beyond the painted stop line. She was confronted with one set of inferences that there was a lawful explanation for Begicevic’s driving and another set of inferences that his driving might also arise from unlawful behavior. It was the essence of good police work for her to freeze the situation until she could sort out the ambiguity. See id. We agree with the circuit court that there was reasonable suspicion to support Kennedy’s traffic stop of Begicevic.

 

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