Tolentino v. New York

PETITIONER: Jose Tolentino
RESPONDENT: New York
LOCATION: Location of arrest

DOCKET NO.: 09-11556
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2010-2016)
LOWER COURT: New York Court of Appeals

CITATION: 563 US 123 (2011)
GRANTED: Nov 15, 2010
ARGUED: Mar 21, 2011
DECIDED: Mar 29, 2011

ADVOCATES:
Caitlin J. Halligan - for the respondent
Kristina Schwarz - for the petitioner
Pratik A. Shah - Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the United States as amicus curiae, supporting the respondent

Facts of the case

Jose Tolentino was pulled over for playing his music too loudly. The officer ran a check on Tolentino's DMV files and discovered that not only was his license suspended, but it had also been suspended at least 10 times prior. Tolentino was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty in exchange for five years' probation. He later appealed, claiming his driving record should have been suppressed, because the police stop and subsequent DMV record search were illegal. The Court of Appeals of New York, the state's highest court, disagreed and upheld his sentence.

Question

Can an individual's motor vehicle records be used as evidence if the police consulted those records only after making an illegal stop of the individual's vehicle?

Media for Tolentino v. New York

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 21, 2011 in Tolentino v. New York

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 29, 2011 in Tolentino v. New York

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

In Case 09-11556, Tolentino versus New York, the petition for a writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.