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NEW YORK SEARCH AND SEIZURE LAW – OFFICER’S OBSERVATION OF KNOWN MALE PROSTITUTE ENTERING VEHICLE IMPROPER BASIS FOR STOP OF VEHICLE. EVIDENCE OF INTOXICATION SUPPRESSED.

A police officer may not stop your vehicle based upon hunches or gut feelings. A vehicle may only be stopped if the officer has reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law or in accordance with nonarbitrary, nondiscriminatory, uniform procedures, such as at roadblocks, checkpoints and weighing stations.
In People v. Reynolds, 185 Misc.2d 674, 713 N.Y.S.2d 813 (N.Y.Co.Ct. 2000), the Monroe County Court held that an officer observing a known male prostitute entering a vehicle was insufficient to justify the stop of that vehicle. In fact, the Court suppressed a computer check of the vehicle’s registration. In Reynolds, the officer observed a known male prostitute enter a parked pick-up truck which then pulled away. The officer followed the pick-up truck and ran a computer check on the license plate number which revealed an expired registration. The officer then stopped the vehicle, separated the driver and passenger at which time he observed the driver the exhibit signs of intoxication. The driver was subsequently charged with Driving While Intoxicated. No prostitution related charges were ever filed.