- D.Nev.: Affidavits for SWs don’t have to prove the underlying crimes
- D.V.I.: Flyover of curtilage from navigable airspace was reasonable
- NJ: Disputes in the facts on appeal show trial court should have held a hearing
- NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
- GA: Not objecting to mention of “probation” search at trial was not IAC
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by John Wesley Hall
Criminal Defense Lawyer and
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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: Reasonableness
NY: Second SW for phone a year later after first SW failed to show PC wasn’t timely
The first cell phone search warrant was rejected for lack of probable cause. It only provided a generic description of cell phones as repositories of potential evidence without linking it to this case. The phone was still in the evidence … Continue reading
S.D.Ga.: Review of PC for a SW is not de novo
Review of whether there is probable cause for a warrant is not de novo; it’s whether there is a substantial basis for finding probable cause, and there’s that here. United States v. Jones, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81177 (S.D. Ga. … Continue reading
NE: Officer’s own sniff of unmarked bag on train was reasonable
Officer’s sniff of an unmarked bag on a train was not unreasonable. He was trained on the smell, and it interfered with no known person’s rights at the time. State v. Vaughn, 314 Neb. 167 (May 5, 2023). The officer … Continue reading
N.D.Tex.: Arrest on NCIC warrant from Michigan reasonable despite it not labeled extraditable
Defendant’s arrest in Texas on a Michigan warrant shown on NCIC was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment despite the claim that it was not flagged for out-of-state extradition. Six months earlier, he was arrested and released before getting to jail … Continue reading
D.V.I.: No REP against a flyover of a MJ grow
There was no objective reasonable expectation of privacy in a flyover of a marijuana grow operation. A warrant to flyover and photograph was not required. United States v. Soogrim, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75183 (D.V.I. May 1, 2023). The court … Continue reading
CA11: Roadside dog sniff during the records check was reasonable and did not extend the stop
A roadside dog sniff during the records check was reasonable even without reasonable suspicion and did not extend the stop. United States v. Ramirez-Rivera, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 10325 (11th Cir. Apr. 27, 2023). On collective knowledge: “As the surveillance … Continue reading
IL4: Despite legalization of possession of small amounts of MJ, dog alert still PC
The drug dog’s “positive alert on the vehicle in this case established a fair probability that drugs or evidence of a crime would be found in the vehicle. This is true despite recent changes in the law regarding the legalization … Continue reading
OH12: Fact LEO broke traffic laws to catch speeder isn’t a 4A reasonableness defense
The fact a police officer arguably broke traffic laws to effect a stop of a fleeing motorist isn’t a defense to a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment or the state constitution. State v. Johnson, 2023-Ohio-1320, 2023 Ohio App. LEXIS … Continue reading
NC: Arrest warrant for def permitted entry into house when he retreated inside; protective sweep valid
Officers had an arrest warrant for defendant for a violent crime, and he was found at home. They saw him outside, and he retreated inside. The SRT showed up too. The entry for the arrest was valid, as was the … Continue reading
C.D.Cal.: Mere seizure of a firearm not per se a 2A violation
“‘The mere occurrence of a firearm seizure during a traffic stop, however, is not enough to establish a Second Amendment violation. Police seize and confiscate firearms routinely, and this Court will not presume that each and every one of those … Continue reading
NY Nassau: Questions in ER about drug and alcohol use not “pedigree questions”
Questions at the hospital about drug or alcohol use are not “pedigree questions” because they go to the heart of the investigation. People v. Jeffcoat, 2023 NY Slip Op 50306(U), 2023 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1549 (Nassau Co. Apr. 7, 2023).* … Continue reading
CA11: Mental health seizures require objective reasonableness of danger
Mental health seizures under Florida’s Baker Act comply with the Fourth Amendment when it’s objectively reasonable to believe that the person is a danger to himself or others. Here the officers had that from defendant’s threats to shoot people. United … Continue reading
SC: DL checkpoint was reasonable
Murder case: A highway checkpoint with four officers to check DLs, registration, and insurance was valid under Prouse, Sitz, and Edmund. No suggestion it was for general crime control. State v. Jones, 2023 S.C. LEXIS 61 (Mar. 29, 2023). Defendant … Continue reading
W.D.N.C.: Traffic stop for expired tags went right to criminal history and was overlong
The court adopts the R&R and finds that the traffic stop was initially justified, but the officer got way off track from it into investigating other things without reasonable suspicion. Instead, the officer was investigating defendant’s criminal history for 46 … Continue reading
ID rejects “reasonable mistake of law” and Heien under state constitution; state’s exclusionary rule is broader
Idaho declines to adopt the “reasonable mistake of law” rule and suppresses a search incident to a warrantless arrest for a completed misdemeanor. The state’s exclusionary rule isn’t just to deter illegal police misconduct – it is considerably more, and … Continue reading
CA10: Five seconds is de minimus under Rodriguez
In a short per curiam, the Tenth Circuit upholds a dog sniff under Rodriguez without explanation. The concurrence, however, tells us that the stop was extended five seconds past the “Rodriguez moment” as still reasonable. United States v. Hayes, 2023 … Continue reading
CA9: Two questions about weapons in car was for officer safety and not unreasonable
Twice asking defendant during a traffic stop about weapons was not minimally burdensome and not unreasonable when defendant had prior for weapons. United States v. Taylor, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 4954 (9th Cir. Mar. 1, 2023):
WI: REP in apt building’s storage room def shared with another that she put the lock on
Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in an apartment’s basement storage room that was shared with another but which defendant put a padlock on. State v. Eder, 2023 Wisc. App. LEXIS 207 (Feb. 28, 2023). There was probable cause … Continue reading
CA10: No fixed time to write the ticket under Rodriguez
The traffic stop was justified, and the district court was correct in holding what happened during the ticket writing phase didn’t deviate from the primary mission of the stop. There’s no fixed rule on the amount of time it could … Continue reading
CA9: Denying owner access to an impounded car for 30 days is an unreasonable seizure
Denying access to one’s car for 30 days after impoundment without justification was an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Untalan v. Stanley, 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 4070 (9th Cir. Feb. 22, 2023). CI information led to surveillance then two … Continue reading