In Commonwealth v. Cartegena, — A.3d —-, 2013 WL 239082 (Pa. Super. 2013) (en banc), the Pennsylvania Superior Court has recently held that the nervousness of a driver during a traffic stop does not, in itself, justify a protective search of a car for weapons. Police need to have articulable, reasonable suspicion that an occupant of a car is armed before being permitted to conduct a protective search.
The government has filed a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Criminal lawyers must be mindful during motions to suppress evidence not to elicit testimony harmful to their clients. the criminal lawyer in this case did an excellent job of keeping the cross examination brief and not unnecessarily asking questions that would help justify the police officers’ search of the Client’s car.