Searches Without a Warrant

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Transcript Searches Without a Warrant

Criminal Justice Process: the
investigation – Chp 12
Arrest – Suspect taken into custody
4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable
cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/
1. Arrest Warrant – obtained by filing a complaint before a judge or
magistrate
2. Without warrant but with probably cause – having reasonable belief
that a specific person has committed a crime
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
 Drug Enforcement
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drug courier profile
allowed by courts and used as basis to stop and question
based on typical age, race, personal appearance, behavior, and
mannerisms of drug couriers
probable cause with info from the community is allowed
probable cause from informant information allowed if judge
considers informant reliable
judge looks at past accuracy of information, how info obtained,
if the police can confirm the info
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
 Reasonable Suspicion
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Don’t need probably cause to stop and question
Must have reasonable suspicion to believe person is involved
Based on less evidence but more than a hunch
Can do a “stop & frisk” if they believe someone is armed
Officer may ask to speak to individual
Can refuse without fear of assumed guilt
Running from police gives reasonable suspicion
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Most common arrest?
Most people do not realize they are being arrested.
Traffic stops
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
 Stop & Question
 Police may use reasonable physical force as
necessary
 Limit use of deadly force to incidents involving
dangerous or threatening suspects
 Too much force could lead to civil action for
violation of the Civil Rights Act
 False Arrest
 Officer is never liable for false arrest simply
because the person was found innocent
 To make this claim it must be shown that the officer
acted maliciously or had no reasonable grounds for
suspicion of guilt
 Evidence obtained during unlawful arrest will not
be allowed in court
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
 Search & Seizure
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4th Amendment only prohibits unreasonable
searches, does not give citizens an absolute right
to privacy
Exclusionary Rule – evidence obtained in an
unreasonable search cannot be used at trial
See Problem 12. 4, page 141 – Street Law Book
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
 Searches With a Warrant
 Judge must be convinced there is a bona fide need
for a search of a person or place
 Affidavit must be filed attesting to the facts and
circumstances, providing probable cause
 Warrant must be:
- specific to a person or place to be searched
- specific items that are to be seized
- length of time it is valid
- some states require permission to search at night
 - Does not usually authorize a general search
however
police can seize evidence related to the case
and any
other illegal items in plain view
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Searches Without a Warrant
Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
1. Search incident to a lawful arrest
- most common exception
- allows search of lawfully arrested person and area
immediately around for weapons or easily destroyed
evidence “grab area”
- if arrest occurs next to accused’s car police may
search passenger area but not usually the trunk
2. Stop and Frisk
- allowed if a suspicious person is likely to be armed
- weapons only search
- 1993 Supreme Court ruling – seizing an illegal
substance during a valid frisk is reasonable if the
officer’s sense of touch makes it immediately clear
that the object is illegal, “plain feel” exception
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Searches Without a Warrant
Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
3. Consent
- voluntarily agree
- normally only for searching that person’s belongings or
property
- parents/guardians can allow access to a minors
property
4. Plain View
- object connected to crime is in plain view and can be
seen from a place where an officer has a right to be
5. Hot Pursuit
- being in pursuit of suspect, gives ok to enter a building
suspect seen entering
- evidence in plain view is legal
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Searches Without a Warrant
Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
6. Vehicle Searches
- probably cause to believe vehicle contains contraband
7. Emergency situations
- entering building after a telephoned bomb threat
- enter house after smell of smoke or screams
- where failure to immediately enter will result in
destruction of evidence, escape of suspect, or possible
harm to police or another individual
8. Border and airport searches
- customs agents may search baggage, vehicles, purses,
wallets, etc
- body searches are only allowed with probably caused
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Public School Searches
 School authority only needs to have reasonable
suspicion to believe a search will provide evidence that
student is violating either school rules or the law
 Lockers can be searched since they are considered
property of the school
Suspicionless Searches
 Supreme Court allows in certain circumstances
ie: fixed point searches at or near borders
sobriety checkpoints
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Racial Profiling
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In appropriate use of race as a factor in identifying
people who may break or have broken the law
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If witness/witnesses use race in their description of the
criminal(s) then using race to stop someone is not
considered inappropriate
Criminal Justice Process, cont.
Interrogations and Confessions
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Question the accused
Confessions/admissions can be used as evidence
5th Amendment protects against self-incrimination, not
obliged to help government prove guilt
6th Amendment – right to attorney
Must read Miranda Rights to suspect upon arrest
Failure to give Miranda Rights does not affect validity of
an arrest
Miranda only required if person is in custodial
interrogation and authorities do not want to use
statements during trial
Police may ask questions related to public safety before
advising a suspect of the Miranda Rights