by Katy Naples-Mitchell, The Marshall Project
October 8, 2018
If you park your car in an unlawful spot or leave it running outside the pavement lines while dashing into a store, you certainly risk getting a ticket. But you could also be handing police probable cause to seize your vehicle—and, if they find something suspicious, risking arrest and jail.
That’s the gist behind Johnson v. United States, a case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals asking if a parking violation creates enough suspicion of criminal conduct for police to surround the car, escalating to arrest or jail. Last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal, leaving the Seventh Circuit ruling as the prevailing law.