Defendant was stopped and volunteered he had drugs in the car, and handed them to the police. He was arrested and his car was locked up. When the police came back to the car to impound it, a gun was seen sticking out from under the seat. The automobile exception permitted the search despite the delay. [Not to mention plain view.] People v Thomas, 94 A.D.3d 914, 941 N.Y.S.2d 524, 2012 NY Slip Op 2714 (2d Dept. 2012).
Defendant’s stop for driving too slow was justified where his car impeded other vehicles. Marijuana in plain view justified a search under the automobile exception. Shell v. State, 727 S.E.2d 243 (Ga. App. 2012).*
A 16 year old runaway was riding with defendant and she told the police that she had oral sex with defendant which he recorded on his telephone. A search warrant for the phone was obtained, but the officer exceeded the scope of the warrant by looking for picture files and not just the video. Significantly, the court also held that the government’s preferred justification for obtaining 404(b) evidence was rejected under the terms of this warrant. United States v. Labuda, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154700 (W.D. Tenn. October 13, 2011):
Finally, while the United States argues that the scope may have been justified to locate material "evidence of intent, plan, motive or common scheme" in accordance with Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, the fact remains that the scope of the authority to search Defendant's cellular phone was based upon the authority granted in the Search Warrant. The Affidavit recited the victim's account that the alleged sexual assault occurred during a brief time period and did not indicate that there was any lengthy span of time during which investigators believed that Defendant corresponded, schemed, or planned the sexual assault. It was the substance of the Affidavit that the issuing judge relied upon to grant the authority to execute the search. Thus, the Court finds that any attempt of investigators to search for evidence not reasonably related to the time frame provided by the victim, no matter whether it may or may not be admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence, was beyond the scope of the Search Warrant.
Ultimately, although Detective Campbell did prudently narrow his search in ways that were not required by the warrant, specifically by not viewing any files other than videos, that does not negate the fact that he also improperly broadened his search to include dates and times that the record reflects he had no reasonable basis to believe that Defendant may have been engaged in or recording sexual offenses relating to the sixteen-year-old victim about whom the Search Warrant was issued. Accordingly, the Court finds that Detective Campbell exceeded the scope of the Search Warrant in his seizure of evidence that had no temporal proximity to the sexual assault of the sixteen-year-old victim.
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"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
—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
—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!”
—Pepé Le Pew
"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
"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."
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)