Close X


Saying "This is not my backpack" is Abandonment

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jul 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

So, not a Georgia case, but worth a note is United States v. Small, 2023 US Appp. Lexis 17117 (3d Cir. July 7, 2023).  During a traffic stop, the officer held up a backpack found under the seat and asked Smalls if it was his.  Smalls said it was not.  This was abandonment of the backpack and allowed the search of its contents.  Any subjective expectation of privacy that Smalls might have had in the backpack was eliminated by his denial that the backpack was his.

It bears repeating.  Do not make any statements.  Smalls was not required to answer the question.  If Smalls had remained silent, as was his right, then his lawyer would have been able to challenge the search of the backpack.  Whether that challenge would have been successful or not is a different question, but because he denied the backpack was his, it is an issue that his lawyer was not able to raise.

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Dedicated to getting you the best possible result in your case.


We provide brief no charge consultations for new criminal, traffic and DUI cases. Fees may be charged for consultations or case reviews for post-judgment matters including sex offender issues.

Black Law Offices Location
706-282-4694 (fax)
Mon: 08:30am - 05:30pm
Tue: 08:30am - 05:30pm
Wed: 08:30am - 05:30pm
Thu: 08:30am - 05:30pm
Fri: 08:30am - 12:00pm