William Bratton is taking over the helm of the NYPD, what should be his top priority?
Officers who fall behind on core training and who stop getting regular updates on recent case law become a civil liability to themselves and their employers.
Although it's common to see the term "stop and frisk," it's possible that there might be justification for a stop, but not for a frisk.
What the exclusionary rule has actually meant in practice is that thousands (maybe millions) of criminals have been able to stop the prosecution from using critical evidence of their guilt to hold them accountable for their crimes.
Before traveling to another state where you intend to carry off duty, do a little research and inquire about local laws regulating firearms possession on private property.
Because warnings are only required prior to custodial interrogation, one way to minimize the adverse impact of Miranda on investigations is to try to conduct interrogations whenever possible in non-custodial settings.
Notwithstanding the explosion of youth criminality, the court has largely continued to treat juvenile offenders in a more lenient and paternalistic fashion than adults.
Testifying might be unfamiliar territory, but a few tips can make it less painful.
Much of what I learned in basic academy in the late 1960s is no longer good law. If I were still operating on the basis of 40-year-old understandings, I wouldn't be very effective.
"The first duties of the officers of the law are to prevent, not to punish crime. It is not their duty to incite to and create crime for the sole purpose of prosecuting and punishing it." — U.S. Supreme Court, Sorrells v. U.S.
In your search warrant affidavits, your reports, and your testimony you have to lay out the basis of your suspicions and justify every detention, arrest, search, seizure, entry, and use of force.
Ever since the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Massiah v. U.S., it has been the rule that any statements about a crime that were deliberately elicited from the suspect by a government official or undercover agent, after the Sixth Amendment right to counsel had “attached” and been asserted, could not be used at trial to prove guilt.
You must act with considerable discipline and restraint when loudmouths try to demean and upset you with offensive language and gestures.
Evidence discovered during a search incident to an arrest supported by PC is not suppressible in the majority of state courts.
Crooks often commit multiple crimes. When you make an arrest and get ready to begin interrogating, you will normally administer the four-part Miranda warning. But if you want to ask questions about more than one crime you think your suspect committed, do you have to inform him of all possible topics of discussion? The short answer is, "No."
Just because a prosecutor declines to file or a grand jury declines to indict does not necessarily mean there has been a bad arrest. Proving guilt in a criminal trial requires the prosecutor to meet a much higher burden than the arresting officers, by proving the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
The general rule-of-thumb is to try to get a warrant whenever possible. On the other hand, if you can seize evidence without engaging in a search, you don't need either a warrant or any exception.
In many cases, two or more crooks commit crimes together. When you catch them, you'll generally do your best to get admissible confessions from them. Arresting multiple suspects can actually give you better chances to obtain statements.
There are four ways to make a lawful entry into a private home. Notice that "entry incident to outdoors arrest" is not on the list of lawful ways to get inside a residence. In three separate cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has held such entries to be unconstitutional.
How many times have you heard the expression "PC for the stop"? How about the application of Miranda once the suspect is "not free to leave?" These are common examples of improper mixing that can undercut the case against a guilty perpetrator.
Two of the basic questions you have when you write an investigative report are "What to put in?" and "What to leave out?" Although these are legitimate questions-because you normally couldn't possibly write down everything you know about a case-it's important to understand that certain things you might consider leaving out should actually be included.