Brief filed: 06/17/2014
Heien v. North Carolina
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 13-604
Decision below 366 N.C. 271, 737 S.E.2d 351 (N.C. 2012).
The North Carolina Supreme Court’s rule condoning traffic stops based on suspicion of perfectly lawful conduct ignores fundamental differences between mistakes of fact and mistakes of law. Treating mistakes of fact and law ‘the same’ under the Fourth Amendment contravenes well-established legal doctrine. There are important practical distinctions between mistakes of fact and mistakes of law. The North Carolina rule would have negative consequences for both individual citizens and law enforcement. The North Carolina Supreme Court’s rule will have negative consequences for individual liberty and will undermine law enforcement.
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