The two vehicle stops were made for different reasons. The first vehicle, thewhite Toyota Camry, was stopped because it fit the description of a vehicle thatwas just used in a bank robbery. This gives the police probable cause that thevehicle contains evidence of criminal activity.
According to Carroll v. UnitedStates that is sufficient reasoning for a stop (211). The second vehicle had thedrivers side brake light out. This is sufficient cause to pull the vehicleover because that is a traffic violation.
“In Whren v. United States, theSupreme Court ruled that the true motivation of police officers in makingtraffic stops was irrelevant as long as they had probable cause to believe thata traffic law had been broken (211).” I feel that both stops were justifiedand neither violated the rights of the suspects.
Fitting the description ofsuspects and being in the general vicinity of the crime is adequate evidence topull a vehicle over and check out the situation. The second stop was madebecause the driver had violated a traffic code. Since the vehicle is breakingthis law the police have the right to pull over that vehicle. The officers eventook the vehicle to the station to obtain a search warrant when the suspectobjected. Both stops were done in a legal manner.
The warrant less search of thewhite Toyota Camry was justified because the suspect did not say no when theofficer asked to search the vehicle. The officer did not come right out and askif he could search the trunk, but the suspect never objected. Instead thesuspect begins to not cooperate which leads to more suspicion. The behavior ofthe suspects and the fact that neither suspects objected to the search is reasonenough to for a warrant less search. If the suspects in the white Toyota Camryhad been advised of their Miranda rights before the search of their vehicle thenthe police would have had to obtain a search warrant. But by denying the policethe right to search your vehicle is almost implying guilt in itself. I think theonly difference getting a search warrant would have done is prolonged the policefinding the evidence in the trunk.
Either way I think the situation would resultin the police finding the rifle and the suspects getting arrested. If theofficers had opened the trunk and found no evidence of the robbery then I thinkthey could only take the suspects in for questioning. Since this questioningwould be in an accusatory manner then the suspects would need to be advised oftheir Miranda rights. If the suspects exercised their right to an attorney thenthey would be advised to keep their mouths shut.
Without evidence to incriminatethe suspects then the suspects would be released and probably questioned againlater. With the only basis for charging being that the suspects and theirvehicle fit the description of those in a robbery then in all likelihood thesuspects would not be charged.