Chapter 6-Searches, in general Flashcards Preview

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defined as exploration or examination of individual's house, premises or person, to discover things or items that may be used by government for evidence



defined as the exercise of dominion or control by the government over a person or thing because of a violation of law. Search is looking and seizing is taking.


4 basic requirements for a search warrant to be valid

1. probable cause,
2. supporting oath or affirmation
3. particular description of place to be searched and things to be seized
4. signature of magistrate


searches without a warrant, the police have to show what?

police bear the burden of establishing probable cause.


Is it valid for a warrantless search by an officer of a probationer's apartment supported by reasonable suspicion and authorized by a condition of probation

Yes. Valid under 4th Amend.


This court held that suspicionless search of a parolee did not violate the 4th Amend

Samson v Califronia, 2006


The scope of a search is governed by the rule of ?

reasonableness, given the object sought. "Do not look for an elephant in a matchbox".


This court held that reasonableness requirement of 4th Amend requires officers to knock and announce before entering a place, subject to exceptions determined by state courts.

Wilson v Arkansas, 1995


Blanket exception to knock and announce
(Effective and applicable in all instances)

Court held that 4th Amend does not allow blanket exceptions to knock and announce req. in felony drug investigations.


The rule on no-knock entries holds even if the entry results in the destruction of property

United States v Ramirez, 1998


Court held that even if the no-knock rule is violated, it does not require suppression of any evidence seized.



Leading case in Searches

Steagald v United States, Maryland v Garrison, Wilson v Arkansas,


Gives more certainty to the time factor in searches when it held that after knocking and announcing their presence and intention to search, 15 to 20 seconds is sufficient time for officers to wait before forcing entry into a home

United States v Banks,2003


warrant is valid only if issued by a neutral and detached magistrate

Coolidge v New Hampshire, 1971
14 yr old girl left home in repsonse to mans request for a babysitter. 13 days later, girls body was found by side of hwy. Coolidge was questioned as suspect. officers working case and the Attorney General had a meeting regarding the case. Attorney General signed an arrest warrant and search warrant on Coolridge. Evidence seized in Coolridge home per search warrant was invalid. Att General was not a neutral or detached magistrate.


Coolidge case is best known for the principle

that a warrant is valid only if issued by a neutral and detached magistrate.


searches of places belonging to third parties are permissible as long as probable cause exists to believe evidence of someone's guilt or other itmes subject to seizure will be found

Zurcher v Stanford Daily, 1978
police were attacked by a group of demonstrators, resulting in injuries to officers. Two days later, a student newspaper carried articles and photographs of the clash. District Attorneys office obtained warrant to search newspaper offices.


The critical element in a reasonable search is not that the property owner is suspected of crime but that there is reasonable cause to believe that "things" to be searched for and seized are located on premisees to which entry is sought

A state is not prevented by 4th Amend and 14th Amend from issueing a warrant to search for evidence simply because the owner or possessor of place is not a suspect in a criminal case.


Court stressed that the search warrant can be issued only if there is

Probable cause, to believe that evidence of someone's guilt or other items subject to seizure will be found.


Warrantless murder scene search, where there is no indication that evidence would be lost, destroyed or removed during the time required to obtain a search warrant and there is no suggestion that a warrant could not easily be obtained, is inconsistent with 4th Amend because the situation does not create exigent circumstances

Mincey v Arizona,1978
Raid on Mincey's apt, an undercover officer was shot and killed and Mincey was wounded. 10 mins after shooting, Homicide Det's arrived and did an extensive search of apt that lasted 4 days.


The Murder scene exception created by Arizona Supreme Court to warrant requirement is?

inconsistent with the 4th and 14th Amend and the warrantless search of petitioners apt was not constitutionally permissible, simply because a homicide had occurred.. In sum, Court states that a warrant must be obtained for crime scene inv., regardless of the seriouness of offense.


An arrest warrant does not authorize entry into another persons residence where the suspect may be found.

Steagald v United States, 1981
DEA entered Steagald residence to arrest another wanted person. upon entry, DEA found cocaine and other evidence. Violation of 4th Amend.
Having an arrest warrant does not authorize police to enter a thirds person's home without search warrant.


Two exceptions to enter a third parties residence without a warrant

1. exigent circumstances
2. Consent of the third person.


a search warrant carries with it the limited authority to detain the occupants of the prermises while the search is conducted.

Michigan v Summers, 1981
executing a warrant to search for drugs, Summers was descending the front steps of house when encountered. Summers advised he didnt have a key, forced entry was made, summers was detained as well as other for the search to be conducted. drugs found, summers arrested.


A warrant that if overbroad in describing the place to be searched, but is based on a reasonalbe, although mistaken, belief of the officer, is valid

Maryland v Garrison, 1987
warrant to search premises known as 2036 Park Avenue third floor apt, for drugs and paraphernalia. officers believing that there was one apt on 3rd floor, they entered wrong apt and discovered contraband.


The discovery of facts demonstrating that a valid warrant was unnecessarily broad

does not retroactively invalidate the warrant


A warrantless search and seizure of trash left for collection in an area accessible to public is valid

California v Greenwood, 1988


4th Amend requires officers to knock and announce before entering a dwelling unless there are exigent circumstances

Wilson v Arkansas, 1995
Wilson conducted several narcotic transactions with an informant over several months. officers got arrest warrant for Wilson and search warrant for the home.


common-law rule of knock and announce date to what date?

1603 and the decision in Semayne's case.


Semayne's case

held "but before he breaks it, he ought to signify the cause of his coming, and to make request to open doors.


Wilson v Arkansas holds

absent exigent circumstances, officers are required to knock and announce to meet the reasonablenees requirements of the 4th Amend. The announcement is based on common-law practice that was woven quickly into the fabric of early American law.