Commonwealth v. Powell

Officers saw defendant in his parked car in an empty parking lot eating Taco Bell food. One officer approached the driver’s side of the car, while his partner approached the passenger side. The defendant was the sole occupant of the car. The officer closest to the appellant ordered him to roll his window down. Subsequently, field sobriety tests were done and the defendant was arrested and charged with DUI. The lower court granted a motion to suppress, holding that a seizure occurred when the officer demanded that defendant roll his window down. The Superior Court affirmed, distinguishing this case from the PA Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Commonwealth v. Adams, and noted that the defendant was not visibly doing anything illegal in eating his late-night snack, thus there was no need for some form of welfare check.

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