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Reasonable Suspicion — Stop — Duration — Prolonged to Seek Consent to Search Automobile

State v. Vernell T. Williams, 2002 WI App 306
For Williams: Michael A. Haakenson

¶24. It is true that when an officer has fulfilled the purpose of a lawful stop, the officer’s request for permission to search the vehicle does not, in itself, transform the stop into an unlawful one. State v. Gaulrapp, 207 Wis. 2d 600, 558 N.W.2d 696 (Ct. App. 1996). In Gaulrapp, the person detained answered yes immediately, and we concluded that his consent was voluntary. Id. at 603, 608. Under those circumstances, we held the request to search did not unreasonably prolong the stop. Id. at 609.5 However, in State v. Gammons, 2001 WI App 36, ¶24, 241 Wis. 2d 296, 308, 625 N.W.2d 623, we held that an officer acted unlawfully when he did not terminate the detention after the reason for the initial lawful stop was resolved, and the driver had answered no to the questions whether he had any drugs in the vehicle, and whether the officer could search the vehicle. …

¶25. Accordingly, in order to determine whether a search of Williams’s vehicle was lawful under Gaulrapp, we need to know the circumstances, including: (1) whether Officer Garcia asked Williams for consent to search his vehicle; (2) when she did so; (3) what he responded; and (4) when the search took place. … We conclude there is conflicting evidence on these points, which the trial court must resolve.

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