- W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
- ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
- CA6: Even if harassment was a basis to exclude a parole search, it wasn’t shown here
- ID: Drug dog putting feet on car door and window during stiff was a trespass on the chattel and the search should have been suppressed
- OH5: Drone flyover found car hidden in def’s open fields
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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
online since Feb. 24, 2003 Approx. 350,000 visits (non-robot) since 2012 Approx. 45,000 posts since 2003 (25,700+ on WordPress as of 12/31/22)
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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: Drug or alcohol testing
CA6: Carpenter not retroactive and doesn’t support successor habeas
Carpenter doesn’t suffice for a successor habeas. Besides, he’d lose on the merits. “Taylor cannot meet the statutory criteria for filing a second or successive habeas corpus petition. First, he does not rely on any newly discovered evidence. Second, ‘the … Continue reading
CA9: Absolute immunity for DA advising on a SW application
A DA advising police on a second search warrant was prosecutorial, not investigatory, for immunity purposes. Haworth v. City of Walla Walla, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 21370 (9th Cir. Aug. 2, 2022). Local court rule for drug testing of bailbondsman … Continue reading
NE: State showed exigency for warrantless blood draw
Driver’s going in and out of consciousness at the scene of a wreck was probable cause for a blood draw. Medical treatment at ER would interfere with it. “This case presents a textbook case of exigent circumstances under Mitchell.” State … Continue reading
CA11: Anonymous tip of bad driving corroborated by seeing it themselves
Anonymous report of bad driving led officers to observe defendant who saw it themselves. The stop was justified. United States v. Menendez, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 18232 (11th Cir. July 1, 2022). Defendant was suspected of building, buying, and selling … Continue reading
CA9: Inventory of backpack no one would claim was reasonable
The seizure and inventory of a backpack in a car was reasonable where neither of the occupants could say who it belonged to. United States v. Montano, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 17544 (9th Cir. June 24, 2022).* Plaintiff cannot claim … Continue reading
WI: On remand in Mitchell v. Wisconsin blood draw reasonable
On remand from Mitchell v. Wisconsin, 139 S. Ct. 2525, 2539 (2019), defendant’s blood draw was reasonable. State v. Mitchell, 2022 Wisc. App. LEXIS 518 (June 15, 2022): When the Mitchell Court remanded this case, it did so for a … Continue reading
W.D.Ky.: Crime victim with animosity toward def is not unreliable CI just because of that
A crime victim isn’t unreliable for informant hearsay just because of animosity toward the defendant. United States v. Collins, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63999 (W.D.Ky. Feb. 7, 2022). The trial court erred in finding defendant’s consent to a blood draw … Continue reading
WI: After suppression of blood BAC test in hospital, SDT for hospital’s own test reasonable and independent
“After crashing his car, Daniel Van Linn was taken to the hospital, where two blood tests were performed: the first one by the hospital for diagnostic and treatment purposes; a later one at the direction of a sheriff’s deputy for … Continue reading
VI: Def’s incapacity not bar to BAC blood draw and implied consent
Defendant’s incapacity does not nullify his implied consent to a BAC blood draw by statute. People v. Joseph, 2022 VI SUPER 12, 2022 V.I. LEXIS 16 (Jan. 27, 2022) (10 months from suppression hearing to order). A nonprosecution agreement does … Continue reading
CA2: Hand-to-hand transaction supports search incident
Hand-to-hand transaction as probable cause supports search incident to arrest. United States v. Campbell, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 6060 (2d Cir. Mar. 9, 2022). This is a prison employee drug testing case. The employee left the premises rather than submit … Continue reading
OH11: Plain view during FD response to fire leading to call to police was reasonable
Defendant’s house burned in a fire, and the fire investigator came in before the firemen left. Drugs were found in plain view and in a safe with an open door. The trial court suppressed, but the court of appeals reversed. … Continue reading
Cal.2d: Unconscious driver’s serious injury was exigency for warrantless blood draw
“When a driver is unconscious, the general rule is a warrant is not needed. (Mitchell, supra, 139 S.Ct. at p. 2531.) The Fourth Amendment “almost always” permits a warrantless blood test when police officers do not have a reasonable opportunity … Continue reading
E.D.Mich.: Finding drugs on person during traffic custodial arrest permits vehicle search
Defendant’s stop was valid because the LPN was expired. While that proved to be untrue, the officer also learned early on the car was uninsured. With defendant arrested, the officer searched his person finding cocaine. That authorized a search of … Continue reading
CA1: Arrest for DV was with PC despite disputed self-defense claim
Plaintiff was arrested for domestic violence, asserting he was defending himself. When the state charges were dropped, he sued the officer. His version of the facts do not unequivocally support self-defense or defense of premises, so the officer gets qualified … Continue reading
CA1: Exigencies of dealing with a DUI crash and death made it reasonable to dispense with SW for BAC
Defendant was charged with DUI deaths in a national park. The exigencies of dealing with the crash and its aftermath justified the delay in BAC testing and getting it without a warrant. United States v. Manubolu, 20-1871 (1st Cir. Sept. … Continue reading
M.D.Fla.: SW for cell phone permitted accessing his apps via internet with phone
The search warrant for defendant’s cell phone was issued with probable cause. The permissible scope of search included applications on the phone but having to go to the internet via the app. Moreover, the warrant for searching the phone included … Continue reading
IA: Two employees erroneously made “safety sensitive” for workplace drug testing
In this employee drug testing case, the employer wrongly classified two employees as “safety sensitive.” “Courts that have considered whether a position was ‘safety sensitive’ for purposes of satisfying Fourth Amendment or statutory protections likewise focus on the specific requirements … Continue reading
WI: Warrantless blood draw from incapacitated driver unconstitutional
Wisconsin’s statute allegedly permitting blood draws of incapacitated drivers is unconstitutional for lack of actual consent, but the good faith exception saves it today. State v. Prado, 2021 WI 64, 2021 Wisc. LEXIS 98 (June 18, 2021):