Police do not violate citizens’ constitutional rights when an identification handed over voluntarily is used to check for outstanding arrest warrants, a divided Florida Supreme Court has ruled, says the Associated Press. The justices unanimously upheld the drug conviction of a pedestrian arrested after such a check, even though he had not been suspected of a crime. They split 4-3 on whether police had violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The majority said people who consent to giving their IDs to police cannot then claim their rights have been violated when officers use the identification to check for arrest warrants. ”This practice essentially forces a citizen who is not reasonably suspected of committing a crime to satisfy a police officer that he or she has a right to walk the streets,” Justice Barbara Pariente wrote.
Daytona Beach police in 2002 approached five men in an area known for prostitution and drugs. Four walked away when police approached, but the defendant in the case on appeal remained. He complied when officers asked for his ID, resulting in his arrest on the outstanding warrant. As part of the arrest he was searched and officers found drugs and paraphernalia, which resulted in more charges and the conviction he appealed to the Supreme Court.