Criminal Investigation Justice Series 2nd Edition by Lyman – Test Bank

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Chapter 5

Legal Issues in Criminal Investigation

 

Chapter Overview:

 

This chapter focuses on the search process of investigations, specifically seeing that it’s done legally.  The probable cause necessary for a search or arrest is very important.  The author makes full note of the exclusionary rule and cases where that has been important.  Searches incident to arrest is fully reviewed as is the scope allowed for searches.

The exceptions to the exclusionary rule such as the good faith exception, the inevitable discovery doctrine, and computer errors exception are all thoroughly discussed by the author with relevant cases to back up what is and isn’t allowed in searches.  The time to get a search warrant is shown through this section as well.  There is also a full discussion of advantages to warrants and triggering conditions for obtaining one.

Next the author reviews the warrantless search.  He talks of searches where the suspect gives consent, exigent circumstances, and searches incident to lawful arrest.  The stop and frisk search, plain view search, automobile search, and open fields search are also part of this chapter.

The arrest of a suspect is the next part of the chapter. The actual definition of an arrest is extensively covered through case law and scenarios.  The difference between detention, stop and frisk and arrest are all important discussions by the author.

Use of force is the last two pieces of this chapter.  The author explains the proper use of force in arrest and when it is authorized to use deadly force.  These are not easy answers and the author brings up many examples of case law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES

 

  • Identify the legal guidelines for conducting searches
  • Explain the exceptions to the exclusionary rule
  • Summarize what information must be contained on a search warrant
  • Explain when warrantless searches are authorized under law
  • Define an arrest
  • Explain what is required for an arrest to be legal
  • Explain when police officers can use force
  • Explain when police officers can use deadly force

 

Lecture Outline

 

Legal Guidelines for Conducting Searches

The Probable Cause Requirement

The probable cause requirement is one of the most important components of the Fourth Amendment because it lies at the heart of police officers’ authority to search, seize, and make arrests. Probable cause is the minimum amount of information necessary to warrant a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been or is being committed by a person who is about to be arrested.

The Exclusionary Rule

The exclusionary rule relates primarily to cases involving issues of search and seizure, arrests, interrogations, and stop-and-frisk violations.

The exclusionary rule originated with the 1914 case of Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). In 1920, Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920), also addressed the exclusionary rule. Although the Weeks and Silverthorne cases were virtually ignored by state courts, the subsequent Mapp decision (Mapp v. Ohio, 1961) expanded the scope of the exclusionary rule by applying it to both federal and state courts.

Search Incident to Lawful Arrest

Chimel v. California (1969) was a watershed case that dealt with areas that are not in plain view that are searched without a warrant. It established that a search made incidental to a lawful arrest must be confined to the area around the suspect’s immediate control. The Chimel case is important, as it relates to criminal investigation; it changed the policy with regard to the scope of the search, as it relates to an officer’s authority to search incident to an arrest.

Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule

Since the Mapp and Chimel cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has developed several exceptions to the exclusionary rule. These play a considerable role in shaping the manner in which police officers are allowed to behave before, during, and after a search and seizure of evidence.

The Good Faith Exception

One such case emerged in the summer of 1984 when the laws dealing with search and seizure changed dramatically in United States v. Leon, when the first good- faith exception to the exclusionary rule was decided. During the course of a drug trafficking investigation by the Burbank, California, Police Department, officers secured a search war- rant for the residence of Alberto Leon. Three prosecutors re- viewed the warrant before its being issued by a state court judge. The subsequent search netted large quantities of drugs, and Leon was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The defense challenged the validity of the warrant based on the unreliability of the informant and moved to suppress the evidence. The US Supreme Court specified that evidence might be excluded if (1) police officers were dishonest in preparing the affidavit, (2) the warrant was deficient on its face (for example, a wrong or missing description of the place to be searched) such that no officer could reasonably serve it, or (3) if the magistrate was not found to be neutral. The practical effect of the Leon case is that any evidence seized through a search warrant is immune from suppression even if the judge signing the warrant was wrong and there was not probable cause to believe that contraband or other evidence would be discovered under the warrant.

The Inevitable Discovery Doctrine

The inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule was developed in the 1984 Nix v. Williams case. This exception states that evidence that has been seized illegally or evidence stemming from illegally seized evidence is admissible if the police can prove that they would have inevitably discovered it anyway by lawful means.

The Computer Errors Exception

In 1995 Arizona v. Evans the court reasoned that officers should not be held responsible for a clerical error made by a court worker and held that the arresting officers acted in good faith based on the information available to them at the time of the arrest.

Searches with a Warrant

The search warrant has proven to be one
of the most valuable tools in
criminal investigation.

When Are Search Warrants Necessary?

Technically, a person may require the police to produce a warrant before admitting them into his or her home for a search. A warrant is not always legally necessary, and a police officer may have information of which a person is unaware that allows the officer to make a warrantless entry.

Advantages of Searching with a Search Warrant

A warrant represents an authorization by the court for officers to enter a designated location or structure and search for specific items. Specifically:

  • Recover stolen property
  • Seize drugs or other contraband
  • Seize any other type of property used in the commission of a crime

The search warrant must contain specifics about the location to be searched, the objects being sought, the probable cause that indicates that there is property to seize, and a signature of the judge authorizing the search.

A search warrant also benefits the prosecutor by shifting the legal burden to the defendant. Instead of the prosecutor having to justify a presumably unreasonable search, it becomes the burden of the defendant to show that the evidence was seized illegally.

Basically, the search warrant sets forth the same facts as outlined in the affidavit. Prior to signing the affidavit, the affiant (the officer) must be certain that he or she is first sworn in by a judge

Anticipatory Search Warrants

An anticipatory search warrant is a warrant based on an affidavit showing probable cause to believe that at some future time, particular evidence of a crime will be located at a particular place. Anticipatory warrants may not be executed until some specific event (other than the passage of time) has occurred. The specified events are called triggering conditions.

Warrantless Searches

The Fourth
Amendment says that all searches
must be preceded by the officer obtaining a search warrant.

Several exceptions exist to warrantless searches:

  • Consent searches
  • Searches under exigent circumstances
  • Searches incident to lawful arrest
  • Stop-and-frisk searches
  • Plain-view searches
  • Automobile searches
  • Open-field searches

Search by Consent

Police can search without a warrant when a suspect gives them permission to do so. Searches in this instance must, of course, be subsequent to an initial detention that was lawful.

Emergency Searches

In the case of an emergency or exigent circumstances, a search may also be conducted without a warrant provided that probable cause exists. As a general rule, the police are authorized to make an emergency warrantless search when the time it would take to get a warrant would jeopardize public safety or lead to the loss of important evidence.

Stop-and-Frisk Searches

In 1968, the Supreme Court of the United States declared in the case of Terry v. Ohio (1968)1 that a police officer may stop a person for questioning if the officer reasonably suspects that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. All that is required is that the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the individual is involved in criminal activity.

The Supreme Court further declared in Terry v. Ohio that an officer who has stopped a suspect may “. . . search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual.”

The Consensual Encounter versus Investigative Detention

Police contacts with citizens that do not involve an interrogation or arrest are referred to as consensual encounters. In order for the officer to stop the citizen from walking away, thus beginning an investigative detention, reasonable suspicion is required.

If there are no grounds for reasonable suspicion that the individual being interviewed is engaged in criminal behavior, he or she is free at all times to discontinue the interview and, as the courts have said, “go about his (or her) business,” that is, walk away from the officer.

In some cases, what begins as a consensual contact may evolve into something more based on information developed by the officer during the contact. This can occur when statements are made or other circumstances create reasonable suspicion to believe that the citizen has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

The officer, however, must be able to point to specific facts, when taken together with rational inferences, reasonably war- rant the stop.

These facts could include:

  1. The appearance or demeanor of a subject suggests that he or she is engaged in a criminal act.
  2. The actions of the subject indicate that he or she is engaged in a criminal activity.
  3. The hour of day or night is inappropriate for the subject’s presence in the area.
  4. The subject’s presence in a neighborhood or location is inappropriate.
  5. The subject is carrying a suspicious object.
  6. The subject’s clothing bulges in a manner consistent with carrying a weapon.
  7. The subject is located in proximity (time and place) to an alleged crime.
  8. The officer has knowledge of the subject’s prior involvement in criminal activity.

The United Supreme Court has addressed this and concludes that flight from contact with police officers provides an additional basis for conducting an investigative detention. In the U.S. Supreme Court case Illinois v. Wardlow (2000), it was determined that fleeing constitutes an additional factor for determining reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative detention.

Terry v. Ohio, other court decisions, and various state statutes give officers the authority to conduct a pat- down search or “frisk” of a suspect who has been the subject of a valid investigative stop if the officer reasonably believes that the suspect may possess a weapon.

Plain View Searches

Police officers have the opportunity to begin investigations or confiscate evidence without a warrant based on what they find in plain view and open to public inspection. This has become known as the plain-view doctrine, a doctrine first stated in the Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. United States (1968). The court ruled, “objects falling in the plain view of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be used as evidence.”

The criteria for a valid plain-view search were identified in Coolidge v. New Hampshire (1971).

The court identified three criteria:

  1. The officer must be present lawfully at the location to be searched.
  2. The item seized must have been found inadvertently.
  3. The item is contraband or would be useful as evidence 
of a crime.

Automobile Searches

The precedent established for warrantless searches of auto- mobiles is the automobile exception, or the Carroll doctrine (Carroll v. United States, 1925). This decision established that the right to search a vehicle does not depend on the right to arrest the driver but on the premise that the contents of the vehicle contain evidence of a crime.

In a 1981 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that warrantless seizures of evidence in the passenger compartments of a car, after a lawful arrest, are valid (New York v. Belton, 1981).

In a high-impact case, California v. Acevedo (1991), much of the confusion about vehicle searches was eliminated. The Acevedo case holds that if an officer has probable cause to believe that a container in an automobile holds contraband, the officer may open the container and seize the evidence, provided that the evidence is in fact contraband.

The law on vehicle searches has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, enabling police officers more latitude in their search and seizure authority. In Pennsylvania v. Labron (1993), the Supreme Court ruled that there is no need for a search warrant in vehicle searches if the vehicle is readily mobile, even if there is time to obtain a warrant. In a related case, the Court held that police officers with probable cause to search a car may inspect passengers’ belongings found in the car that are capable of concealing the object of the search (Wyoming v. Houghton, 1999).

In 1970, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of officers to search a vehicle that is moving or is about to be moved, provided that there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains items that are legally seizeable. In the Chambers v. Maroney (1970) case, the Court referred to the earlier case of Carroll v. United States and determined that a search warrant is unnecessary provided that probable cause exists that contra- band is contained in the vehicle, that the vehicle is movable, and that a search warrant is not readily obtainable.

Open Field Searches

In Oliver v. United States (1984), the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its position that open fields are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. This differs from constitutional protection over buildings, houses, and the area surrounding them, known as curtilage. The curtilage is considered one’s yard.

In a 1987 decision, United States v. Dunn, the Supreme Court ruled that the warrantless search of a barn that is not part of the curtilage is valid. The Dunn decision, although still subject to imprecise application, is helpful because it narrows the definition of what buildings should be considered curtilage of the main residence.

Making An Arrest

Legally speaking, an arrest is a seizure of a person. This process is far from routine. It is the arrest that is one of the most critical aspects of an investigator’s responsibilities.

What Is an Arrest?

The term arrest may take on many different interpretations. For example, it is the official interaction between a peace officer (law enforcement officer) and a suspected lawbreaker when the suspect is captured and delivered before the court. It may also be construed as the simple restriction of one’s freedom by an agent of the government.

The Lawful Arrest

Probable cause is required for a lawful arrest. The general test the courts consider to determine whether probable cause exists for an arrest is whether facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge are sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe a suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

Laws of arrest vary from one jurisdiction to another, but peace officers are generally authorized to make an arrest on the authority of an arrest warrant for either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Under the strictest interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, a warrant should be required for all arrests. However, the courts have loosely interpreted this requirement in allowing officers to arrest without a warrant if they personally observe any violation of the law.

Arrests are authorized under the following conditions:

  • When the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a violation of the law “in his or her presence”
  • When the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a felony but “not in his or her presence”
  • When the officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a felony whether or not a crime has been committed

 

Detention versus Arrest

Thomas Adams states that police intervention may be classified as a contact, a consensual encounter, an investigative detention, or an arrest:

  • In this situation, the subject is free to walk away if he or she so desires. It is the sole decision of the subject whether or not to cooperate with an officer.
  • Consensual encounter. In this situation, the officer may not exert any authority over the subject. Officers can continue to seek the subject’s cooperation but cannot demand it.
  • Investigative detention. This is defined as something less than an arrest but more than a consensual encounter. Generally, this is when a person thinks that he or she cannot just walk away (Terry Ohio).
  • This is the act of placing a person in custody for a suspected violation of criminal law.

Investigatory Stops

Three constitutional requirements exist for an investigative detention, or a Terry stop, to be lawful:

  1. The officer must be able to point to objective facts and circumstances that would warrant a reasonable police officer to link the detainee’s conduct with possible criminal activity.
  2. The officer must proceed with the investigation as expeditiously as possible to avoid unnecessarily prolonging the period of involuntary detention.
  3. The officer must stay within the narrow investigative boundaries allowed for reasonable suspicion in Terry stop situations.

To satisfy the reasonable suspicion standard, the officer must possess objective grounds for suspecting that the person detained has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Courts consider “rational inferences that arise from the facts,” as well as the facts themselves, in deciding whether the officer’s information was sufficient to satisfy the reasonable suspicion standard.

When Is a Person under Arrest?

The courts have held that a suspect is seized within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment whenever a law enforcement officer restricts his or her freedom to leave.

  • Seizure by submission to a show of legal authority. The test for whether there has been a show of authority is objective— whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s place would feel that he or she was not free to ignore an officer’s request and walk away.

 

  • Seizure by physical restraint. If the suspect does not submit to an officer’s show of legal authority, no seizure occurs until the suspect is actually brought under the officer’s con- trol. The free-to-leave test has been repeatedly adopted by the court as the test for a seizure.

This issue was considered in the California v. Hodari (1991) case, where the court ruled that a Fourth Amendment seizure does not occur when law enforcement officers are chasing a fleeing suspect unless the officers apply physical force or the suspect submits to the officer’s show of authority. A juvenile named Hodari was standing with three other youths on a street corner in downtown Oakland, California. When an unmarked police car was observed approaching, the youths ran in different directions. An officer exited the police car, pursued, and finally caught up with Hodari. Just be- fore being tackled, Hodari tossed away a bag containing crack cocaine that was later used as evidence to convict Hodari of possession of cocaine.

Upon review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices considered the issue of whether or not an arrest had been made. In a majority decision, Justice Antonin Scalia said, “An arrest requires either physical force . . . or, where that is absent, submission to the assertion of authority.” He later added, “Neither usage nor common-law tradition makes an attempted seizure a seizure.” The conviction was reaffirmed.

“The totality of the circumstances” must be considered when deciding if an arrest has been made. It must be shown that the officer’s words or actions would have led a reasonable person to believe that he or she was not free to leave before the officer attempts seizure of the person. Also, the person must somehow show his or her submission to the officer’s authority before the seizure actually occurs.

Other factors considered:

  • The officer must have the appropriate legal authority to do so (for example, jurisdiction).
  • Arresting officers must be sure that persons arrested fall under the authority of the law (for example, being physically placed into custody by the officer or submitting to the assertion of authority).

 

Use of Force

Balancing issues of a violent society with the safety concerns of police personnel creates many obstacles and concerns in developing departmental policies and procedures.

The prevailing police perspective is based on a serious concern for the welfare of officers who must cope with the constant threat of a violent society. In contrast, citizens are fearful that police officers may exceed their legal bounds and use force as a means of punishment rather than control.

Police officers deal every day with persons who are violent, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, mentally deranged, or just desperate to avoid arrest. To cope, officers are granted specific legal authority to use force under constitutional law and the laws of most states.

Our society recognizes three legitimate and responsive forms of force:

  1. To protect the officer or others from danger
  2. To overcome resistance
  3. To prevent escape

Police officers are taught that the penalties for abusing their authority to use force can be severe. The federal standard for police use of force was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor (1989). In that case, the Court recognized that the police officer’s duty to make arrests and to conduct searches and investigatory stops carries with it the authority to use force reasonably or to threaten the use of force. The Graham decision allows officers to use force for two reasons only: defense and control, not punishment.

A court will use the following standard to determine whether such force was reasonable. First, the officer’s conduct will be compared with that of a “reason- able officer” confronted by similar circumstances. Second, when the judge and jury evaluate the officer’s actions, they must do so from the “standing in your shoes” standard.

Understanding Reasonableness

Under the Graham decision, the Court identified three key factors based on the totality of the circumstances to use in evaluating an officer’s use of reasonable force:

  1. The severity of the crime committed
  2. Whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the 
safety of officers or others
  3. Whether the suspect actively resisted arrest or attempted to evade arrest by flight

Levels of Force

Officers should constantly con- sider their options when approaching what they perceive to be a dangerous situation. In doing so, if the need to use force becomes a reality, proper application of force will be available quickly.

Use of Deadly Force

In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice noted that most police departments had no policy to guide them on the use of deadly force. In its most commonly
used parlance, the term deadly
force refers to actions of police officers that result in the killing of a person. As mentioned previously, police officers are legally authorized to use deadly force under certain circumstances.

Three factors that must be present to justify deadly force:

  1. Attacker must possess the power to kill or inflict crippling injury
  2. Attacker must be capable of immediately employing that power in an attack
  3. Attacker must act in a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that the attacker has intent to kill or inflict crippling injury

Fleeing Felon Rule

Until the mid-1980s, the shooting of a suspect by police was tolerated by many police agencies. Police officers in those early days often worked alone and lacked sophisticated communications technology with which to track suspects who were wanted by police.

Before 1985, police officers were legally authorized by most states to use deadly force in apprehending fleeing felons. In a watershed decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in March 1985, it was determined that Tennessee’s fleeing-felon law was unconstitutional. Tennessee v. Garner (1985) involved the police shooting and subsequent killing of an unarmed boy as the youth fled from an unoccupied house. In this case, the officer could see that the suspect was a youth and that he was unarmed. The officer argued, however, that if the youngster were able to leap a fence, he would be able to escape.

Reasonable deadly force is authorized under three circumstances:

  1. To prevent an escape when the suspect has threatened an officer with a weapon
  2. When there is a threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others
  3. If there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and, when practical, some warning has been given by the officer

THE CASE:

  1. Answer should include: Information for a search warrant could be relevant for this case if there were a suspect’s car or apartment to link to the murders. If the investigation to this case leads to an enclosed area for search, such as a car, residence, or building, it would be advisable to get a search warrant prior to search.  At this stage there is no suspect so no search there is no need for a search warrant.
  2. Answer should include: Again a warrantless search would be unadvisable in that found evidence could be ruled unconstitutional and excluded from a criminal trial. But in this case there is no enclosed area for search given there are no suspects.

 

Learning Outcomes 1:

  1. Explain the roles played by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments in searches and seizures and how they relate to the investigative process. Answer: Fourth Amendment deals with “search and seizure” of a suspect or an occupied structure. These would require warrants as situations dictate. The Fifth Amendment deals with right against self-incrimination during arrest.  Miranda warning would be necessary before interrogation.  And Sixth Amendment rights apply at time of arrest for an attorney and a “speedy trial.”
  2. Define “scope of the search” and how it relates to criminal investigation. Answer: The scope of a search relates to an officer’s authority to search incident to an arrest.
  3. What is probable cause? Answer: Probable cause is the minimum amount of information necessary to warrant a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been or is being committed by a person who is about to be arrested.
  4. What facts help establish probable cause? Answer: Did the suspect attempt to run away when approached by the officer? Did the suspect admit to any part of the alleged crime? Did the suspect behave furtively, as if he or she were trying to hide something?
  5. What are some of the important cases involving police searches? Answer: Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920) Mapp v. Ohio, 1961. Chimel v. California (1969).

Learning Outcomes 2:

  1. Explain the practical benefits of the exclusionary rule and how the rule impacts criminal investigations— negatively and positively. Answer: The exclusionary rule relates primarily to cases involving issues of search and seizure, arrests, interrogations, and stop-and-frisk violations. In addition, it pertains to any evidence obtained illegally even though it may be both relevant and material. The exclusionary rule states that courts will exclude any evidence that was illegally obtained even though it may be relevant and material. In a positive light the exclusionary rule curtails the power of the government to unnecessarily or illegally search without probable cause.
  2. What are the historic legal origins of the exclusionary rule? Answer: The exclusionary rule originated with the 1914 case of Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). In the Weeks case, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the warrantless seizure of items from a private residence constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 1920, Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920), also addressed the exclusionary rule. It was a U.S. Supreme Court Case in which Silverthorne attempted to avoid paying taxes. Federal agents illegally seized tax books from Silverthorne and made copies of the records. The subsequent Mapp decision (Mapp v. Ohio, 1961) expanded the scope of the exclusionary rule by applying it to both federal and state courts.
  3. Explain the three major exceptions to the exclusionary rule. Answer: “The Good faith exception.” The Inevitable Discovery Doctrine. The Computer Errors Exception.
  4. What is the impact of these exceptions on police work and behavior? Answer: The exceptions allow for some human error to police work as well as good work done by police officers can not be excluded from trial when officers are acting “in good faith.”

Learning Outcomes 3:

  1. What are the advantages of searching with a search warrant? Answer: It authorizes the search of homes,
businesses, and vehicles of suspects; typically results in the arrest of multiple suspects; and expedites investigation and sub- sequent case closure.
  2. What are ways in which obtaining a search warrant benefits the criminal investigator? Answer: Among the many tools afforded the criminal investigator, the search warrant has proven to be of substantial worth. It represents an authorization by the court for officers to enter a designated location or structure and search for specific items.
  3. What specific information must be included in a search warrant? Answer: The search warrant must contain specifics about the location to be searched, the objects being sought, the probable cause that indicates that there is property to seize, and a signature of the judge authorizing the search.
  4. How can a search warrant be used? Answer: Basically, the search warrant sets forth the same facts as outlined in the affidavit. Prior to signing the affidavit, the affiant (the officer) must be certain that he or she is first sworn in by a judge. The judge must then sign and date all pages of the affidavit and warrant.

5. In what ways does the search warrant aid the prosecutor? Answer: A search warrant also benefits the prosecutor by shifting the legal burden to the defendant. Instead of the prosecutor having to justify a presumably unreasonable search, it becomes the burden of the defendant to show that the evidence was seized illegally.

Learning Outcomes 4:

  1. Under what conditions can a search be conducted without a search warrant? Answer: Search by consent. Emergency searches. Search incident to lawful Arrest. Stop and Frisk Searches. Plain view searches. Automobile searches. Open field searches.
  2. What are the legal justifications for searching without a warrant? Answer: It is incumbent on investigating officers to demonstrate that a dire situation existed that justified their actions. Failure to do so will result in the evidence seized being deemed illegal.
  3. Which constitutional amendment deals with warrant requirements? Answer: 4th Amendment.
  4. What are some situations in which a judge may uphold a warrantless search? Answer: Threat of removal or destruction of evidence. A danger to life. The threat of a suspect escaping.

Learning Outcomes 5:

  1. 1. Identify the legal and practical effects of making an arrest that is illegal and how doing so affects criminal investigations. Answer: An improper or illegal arrest can negate all investigative efforts and result in the suspect going free.
  2. Explain the legal requirement for making a lawful arrest. Answer: Probable cause is required for a lawful arrest. The general test the courts consider to determine whether probable cause exists for an arrest is whether facts and circumstances within the officer’s knowledge are sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe a suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime
  3. What is the most common type of arrest? Answer: Laws of arrest vary from one jurisdiction to another, but peace officers are generally authorized to make an arrest on the authority of an arrest warrant for either a misdemeanor or a felony offense.

4. What is the difference between detention and arrest? Answer: Contact – in this situation the subject is still free to walk away.  Consensual encounter – the officer may not exert any authority over the subject. Investigative detention – less than arrest but more than a consensual encounter. Arrest – the act of placing a person in custody.

  1. What is meant by reasonable suspicion? Answer: The officer must be able to point to objective facts and circumstances that would warrant a reasonable police officer to link the detainee’s conduct with possible criminal activity.

Learning Outcomes 6:

  1. Did the suspect attempt to run away when approached by the officer? Answer: Sometimes, police will observe a subject who runs after seeing the officers. The United Supreme Court has addressed this and concludes that flight from contact with police officers provides an additional basis for conducting an investigative detention. In the U.S. Supreme Court case Illinois v. Wardlow (2000), it was determined that fleeing constitutes an additional factor for determining reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative detention.
  2. Did the suspect admit to any part of the alleged crime? Answer: The suspect does not need to admit to any part of a crime to be placed under arrest. The most common type of arrest is that which follows the questioning of a suspect. After a decision to arrest is reached, the officer must come to the conclusion that a crime has been committed and that the suspect is probably the one who commit- ted it.
  3. Did the suspect behave furtively, as if he or she were trying to hide something? Answer: Furtive movements can lead an officer to make a search but not necessarily an arrest. A suspect trying to hide something would further add to reasonable suspicion as well as minimally a Terry stop and frisk. A quick search of the area where the suspect was behaving suspiciously is allowed by the court for officer safety.

Learning Outcomes 7:

  1. Explain the use-of-force continuum and under what circumstances an officer’s escalation of force is justified. Answer: To protect the officer from danger. To overcome resistance. To prevent escape.
  2. Identify the constitutional standard for use of force by police as identified under Graham v. Conner. Answer: In the Graham case, the Court recognized that the police officer’s duty to make arrests and to conduct searches and investigatory stops carries with it the authority to use force reasonably or to threaten the use of force. The Graham decision allows officers to use force for two reasons only: defense and control, not punishment.
  3. What is the fleeing-felon rule?
 Answer: The U.S. Supreme Court in March 1985, it was determined that Tennessee’s fleeing-felon law was unconstitutional. Pursuant to Garner, the Court ruled that for the use of deadly force by police to be lawful, it must be “reasonable.” Reasonable deadly force is authorized: to prevent escape when the suspect has threatened an officer with a weapon. When there is a threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers or others, there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and, when practical, some warning has been given by the officer
  4. What Supreme Court case established the rules for use of force by law enforcement officers? Answer: Tennessee v Garner (1985)

 

Additional Links:

www.star-telegram.com

For in-depth stories on the Michael A. Gilbert case mentioned earlier in the chapter, visit the site of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

www.Supremecourt.gov

This is the official site of the U.S. Supreme Court. The site gives visitors access to various court documents, including oral arguments and opinions. The site has video resources, press releases, and media advisories. It includes links for jobs and internship programs as well as related organizations such as the Federal Judicial Center and the United States Sentencing Commission. Visitors can also search for documents and docket files.

www.hrw.org

This is the website of the Human Rights Watch, which conducts investigations of human rights abuses in 70 countries.
The site has a report on the Christopher Commission, which investigated the Los Angeles Police Department following the Rodney King beating in 1991. It also includes a police brutality report for 14 major metropolitan areas in the United States. New Orleans; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; and New York are among the cities profiled.

www.americanbar.org

This is the site of the American Bar Association, which calls itself the national representative of the legal profession. The site contains information on basic criminal law, the police and your rights (Miranda rights), rules on search and seizure, and victims’ rights.

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