Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(On behalf of the United States, as amicus curiae supporting the petitioner)
(on behalf of the Respondent)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Location: Wilson's Car
Facts of the Case 

After a Maryland state trooper stopped the speeding car in which he was riding, a nervous Wilson was ordered to step out. As he did, a quantity of cocaine fell on the ground. When arrested for possession with intent to distribute, Wilson challenged the manner in which the evidence against him was obtained. After the Baltimore County Circuit Court ruled to suppress the evidence against Wilson, Maryland appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals - which affirmed. The Supreme Court granted Maryland certiorari.


Did Maryland's state trooper violate the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure guarantees by ordering Wilson, a mere passenger in the suspect vehicle, to exit the car during a traffic stop?

Decision: 7 votes for Maryland, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment

No. The Court held that after lawfully stopping a speeding vehicle, an officer may order its passengers to step out. While burdening their personal liberty somewhat, officers must be permitted such authority over passengers if the overriding government's interest in officer safety is to be protected.

Cite this Page
MARYLAND v. WILSON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
MARYLAND v. WILSON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"MARYLAND v. WILSON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,