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Tag Archives: search & seizure

Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Passenger Pat-Down – Reasonable Suspicion (access required)

U.S. v. Powell Although a radio call alerted an officer to a passenger’s “priors” for armed robbery, that “caution” and the passenger’s misrepresentation about his driver’s license did not provide a reasonable suspicion the passenger was armed and dangerous and allow a pat down, a 4th Circuit panel majority holds; saying it has made the same point in three recent cases, the appellate court vacates defendant’s crack cocaine conviction.

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Constitutional – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Administrative – Immigration – Green-Card Check (access required)

U.S. v. Guijon-Ortiz A police officer who questioned a pickup passenger’s alien legal residence card during a routine traffic stop did not violate the passenger’s Fourth Amendment rights when he extended the stop to call the local customs office to check the validity of the passenger’s identification, and the 4th Circuit affirms defendant passenger’s conviction for illegal reentry after deportation in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326.

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – DWI – Weaving Within Lane – Reasonable Suspicion (access required)

State v. Otto Where the arresting officer merely observed defendant weaving within her own lane at 11:00 p.m. near an establishment that sometimes served alcohol, the officer did not have a reasonable articulable suspicion for stopping defendant. We reverse the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.

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Constitutional – Search & Seizure – Civil Rights – Tort/Negligence – Arrest (access required)

Brown v. Winders If, as plaintiff has alleged, the defendant-deputy told the 62-year-old overweight, disabled plaintiff that the deputy knew plaintiff wasn’t the one riding plaintiff’s motorcycle when it sped away from the deputy, then the deputy violated plaintiff’s clearly established right to be free from unreasonable seizures when he arrested her for fleeing to elude arrest. Defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted as to plaintiff’s state-law claims against the defendant-sheriff. Otherwise, the motion is denied.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Search Warrant – Weapons Pat-Down – Bags of Marijuana (access required)

State v. Richmond Officers executing a search warrant found defendant in the residence and drugs in plain view. Given a narcotics officer’s experience that “Where there’s drugs, there’s guns,” the officer was entitled to perform a weapons pat-down of defendant. We affirm the denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.

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Criminal Practice – Appeals – Search & Seizure – Suppression Order (access required)

State v. Oates When the trial court announced in open court on Dec. 14, 2009 that defendant’s motion to suppress was granted, the state did not enter oral notice of appeal. Although the state filed written notice of appeal on Dec. 22, 2009, the trial court did not enter a written order granting defendant’s motion to suppress until March 22, 2010, and the state did not give written notice of appeal within 14 days after entry of this order.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Illegal Entry – Consent to Search (access required)

U.S. v. Hill Police who did not expect to find defendant at his girlfriend’s home entered the home illegally, but they had the girlfriend’s valid consent to search the home; however, the 4th Circuit remands the case to the district court to decide whether the taint from the initial illegal entry was dissipated by the girlfriend’s consent.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Tinted Windows – Extended Detention – Confusion (access required)

State v. Williams Defendant and her friend provided the arresting officer with information, or a lack thereof, including various inconsistencies, which created a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity sufficient to justify the officer’s extended detention of the stop of their vehicle. We affirm the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Flight – Resisting Arrest – No Probable Cause (access required)

State v. White Responding to a noise complaint, police officers saw defendant running away and arrested him for resisting a public officer. With no showing that it was the police that defendant was running away from or that he was involved in the source of the noise complaint or any other illegal activity, the state failed to show that the police had probable cause to arrest defendant. We reverse the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that the police gathered as a result of his arrest.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Traffic Stop – Suppression Order – Incorrect Standard – Reasonable Suspicion (access required)

State v. Salinas In ruling on defendant’s motion to suppress evidence resulting from a traffic stop, the trial court erroneously applied the probable cause standard rather than the appropriate standard of reasonable suspicion. Since the trial court’s ruling involved credibility determinations, we cannot simply reverse the trial court’s ruling and replace it with a denial of defendant’s motion; rather, we must remand to allow the trial court to apply the correct standard.

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