- HI: Miranda warnings required whenever PC developes for arrest
- WA: Stop to inquire of paying transit fare violated state constitution
- OH1: Defense counsel ineffective for not challenging state’s alleged consent after they announced “we’re going to be doing a search warrant here”
- CA10: Five seconds is de minimus under Rodriguez
- Reason: An Oregon Man Was Wrongly Imprisoned for Almost a Year Because of an Error in a DMV Database
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
Search and seizure law consultant
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contact: forhall @ aol.com / The Book
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
“I am still learning.”
—Domenico Giuntalodi (but misattributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti (common phrase throughout 1500's)).
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
—Charles Dickens, “The Old Curiosity Shop ... With a Frontispiece. From a Painting by Geo. Cattermole, Etc.” 255 (1848)
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
"Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment."
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property."
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment."
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
---Pepé Le Pew
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)
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Category Archives: Admissibility of evidence
D.S.C.: Lack of nexus to def isn’t grounds for motion to suppress; that’s a trial question
Lack of nexus between drugs and the defendant is an evidentiary question for trial, not a motion to suppress. The search is legal in any event. United States v. Cunningham, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43510 (D.S.C. Mar. 14, 2023). The … Continue reading
M.D.Ala.: Controlled buy 4 days earlier leading to SW comes in under 404(b)
Defendant’s motion in limine about a controlled buy four days before the warrant is denied. It comes in under 404(b). United States v. Neal, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37649 (M.D. Ala. Mar. 7, 2023). “As already discussed at the motion … Continue reading
GA: Police reentry into hotel room after medical emergency required SW
Officers responded to a medical emergency at a hotel room. They left and reentered to seize contraband, and the reentry required a warrant. The exigency had passed. State v. Wood, 2023 Ga. App. LEXIS 101 (Feb. 28, 2023). The suppression … Continue reading
CA4: GFE applied to SW application without PC but where two state court warrants followed up based on it
The government concedes there was no probable cause for the search warrant here, but two state judges also renewed the warrants based on the first one. That’s good faith. United States v. Jordan, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 2655 (4th Cir. … Continue reading
IL: Circumstances made SW affidavit admissible at trial
The trial court abused its discretion in not permitting the defense to use the search warrant affidavit at trial that showed the warrant was targeting another person for other things other than what was found. The court cautions this may … Continue reading
AR: Claim state’s response to motion to suppress was judicial admission has to be presented to trial court
To argue that the state’s admissions in a response to a motion to suppress amount to a judicial admission of fact, the issue has to be argued to the trial court to preserve it. Otherwise, the trial court is free … Continue reading
S.D.Ill.: Extrinsic evidence is admissible in a Franks challenge
Extrinsic evidence of alleged falsity in a Franks challenge is admissible. United States v. Smith, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 234002 (S.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2022). Questioning defendant about the presence of a firearm in his vehicle fell within the Quarles … Continue reading
CA9: Oral amendment to SW to add a place to be searched never incorporated violates 4A, but GFE here because no controlling authority
Officers had a search warrant for plaintiff’s hotel room searching for evidence of a drug operation. They called the issuing judge for permission to search plaintiff’s home under the same affidavit, which was orally granted, but the warrant was not … Continue reading
S.D.Ga.: Govt’s motion to reopen suppression hearing after R&R is granted
The government didn’t like the R&R so it moved to put on additional evidence before the USMJ. Granted. “Therefore, in light of the Court’s ‘responsibility to make an informed decision’ on Wright’s suppression motion, Khan, 2018 WL 2214813, at *2, … Continue reading
E.D.Tenn.: Challenge of CI’s ID of def in 4A suppression hearing not the remedy; that’s a trial question
Defendant seeks suppression of the CI’s identification of him within the search warrant process, which the court declines to do. Due process issues with identification are trial issues, not Fourth Amendment motion to suppress issues. “Either remedy, exclusion of the … Continue reading
GA: Trial questions about SW affidavit properly excluded where officer didn’t prepare affidavit
Trial questions to one officer about alleged false statements in a search warrant affidavit attributed to him but where it was not written by him were excluded. This was not an abuse of discretion since he wasn’t the affiant. Harris … Continue reading
CA3: Not plain error to fail to exclude potential prejudicial testimony about risk of violence in execution of SW
Testimony about how a search warrant was executed as it was could have prejudiced defendant by revealing the government thought he was violent before arrest. It was not, however, plain error on this record without an objection. United States v. … Continue reading
D.Ore.: Officer can be cross-examined at trial on his SW affidavit
The government’s motion in limine against crossing the IRS agent on his search warrant affidavit is denied. The search has already been litigated, and defendant can’t use this as a “mini-Franks hearing.” The government can object if it goes far … Continue reading
D.Ore.: Officer may be cross-examined at trial over contents of SW affidavit if relevant
“The Court denies the Government’s motion to prohibit Defendant from cross-examining IRS Special Agent Jason Nix on his sworn statements contained in a search warrant application. See ECF 100 at 13-15. Defendant may cross examine Special Agent Nix regarding any … Continue reading
CA5: SW affidavit at trial violated confrontation
The government violated the confrontation clause by putting into evidence a search warrant affidavit to seek to give context to the CS’s dealings with defendant. If that’s so important, then the government should call him. United States v. Hamann, 2022 … Continue reading
IA: Admission of SW affidavit at trial with CI’s version violated confrontation
Admission of the search warrant affidavit here at trial with inadmissible hearsay of the CI was a violation of confrontation. State v. Martinez, 2022 Iowa App. LEXIS 410 (May 11, 2022). These search warrant materials remain sealed for one year. … Continue reading
CA9: Neighbor’s video of SWAT team arrival for search was properly excluded at trial for confusion of issues
Defendant’s neighbor recorded the SWAT team arrival and participating in the execution of the search warrant from outside the house. Defendant’s offer of the video at trial was rejected. “Permitting the jury to see that the police who were executing … Continue reading
CA6: There was PC and exigency for search of car even though district court didn’t say “automobile exception”
The smell of marijuana from defendant’s car was probable cause. The district court didn’t say “automobile exception,” but that’s what it meant. United States v. Hall, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 2983 (6th Cir. Feb. 2, 2022).* Defendant’s Franks allegation fails … Continue reading
OH10: No REP in possession of a stolen laptop that sent its location information
Appellant’s motion to reopen his appeal to reargue his Fourth Amendment claims is denied. Not one thing he proffers can change the outcome of the appeal. There was a basis for a GPS warrant on his vehicle, and there was … Continue reading
S.D.Ind.: The state used Google satellite images to corroborate officer’s testimony of stop
The government used Google satellite images and distancing to corroborate the officer’s testimony defendant didn’t signal his turn in time. After the stop, the smell of marijuana was apparent. United States v. Miles, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14860 (S.D.Ind. Jan. … Continue reading