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Maryland v. Wilson - Significance, A Bright Line Rule?, A Matter Of Safety, Differing Opinions, Impact, Further Readings

vehicle court officer stop


State of Maryland


Jerry Lee Wilson

Petitioner's Claim

Maryland maintained that passengers of a vehicle should be expected to exit a vehicle when requested by a law officer.

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

16 February 1997


The Supreme Court held that it was consistent with the Fourth Amendment for an officer making a traffic stop to order passengers to get out of the vehicle until the completion of the stop.

Related Cases

  • Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
  • United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1975).
  • Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106 (1977).
  • Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032 (1983).
  • Ohio v. Robinette, 433 U.S. 562 (1996).
  • Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996).
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over 5 years ago

Officers can conduct a PAT-DOWN search for weapons of all persons in vehicle Arizona V. Johnson (passengers) and Terry v. Ohio for Subject. Officers may also conduct a PAT-DOWN search for weapons of the vehicle.

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over 8 years ago

It should be noted although police may detain passengers, they may not search absent consent or probable cause. Also, do not leave back pack, purse, etc. in car in the event driver gives consent to search, that consent would extend to items left in car.