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Search Result: Point of Law

Displaying 21  -  40  of  155

Open Wide and Say, "Ahhh"

August 5, 2013

Under what circumstances would the Fourth Amendment allow routine collection of DNA samples upon arrest and booking? A recent Supreme Court decision addressed this issue.

When Miranda Doesn't Matter

July 2, 2013

Miranda warnings should not be given when they aren't legally necessary such as when information is urgently needed to protect the safety of officers or the public, or to rescue a victim.

Forced Blood From Impaired Drivers

June 7, 2013

The Supreme Court has made it more difficult for law enforcement officers to obtain the most probative evidence of impaired driving—a measure of the alcohol concentration in a sample of the suspect's blood.

Dogs, Drugs, and the Fourth Amendment

May 3, 2013

Two cases from Florida have brought the U.S. Supreme Court to two different conclusions regarding K-9 searches in 2013. One is an affirmation of existing practice, but the other breaks new ground and imposes new limits.

Search Warrant Detentions

April 30, 2013

When you make a search of premises under authority of a search warrant, it is generally permissible to detain the occupants pending completion of the search. The authority to do so, and the rationale supporting detention, were limited by a 2013 decision.

Unlawful Reaction to Unlawful Action

March 5, 2013

Let's face it—law enforcement officers sometimes make detentions, arrests, entries, or searches that run afoul of one or more of the hundreds of judicial decisions differentiating "reasonable" and "unreasonable" searches and seizures.

Consent Searches

February 5, 2013

Warrantless searches are presumed to be unreasonable, but the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that a warrantless search may still be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if it falls within the guidelines of one or more of a limited number of exceptions.

Suspect-Initiated Interrogation

January 9, 2013

Once a custodial suspect has been given Miranda warnings and has acknowledged his understanding, he might waive his rights and submit to questioning, or he might invoke—either by indicating that he doesn't want to talk, or by requesting counsel.

Entry to Secure

December 10, 2012

As previous "Point of Law" articles have discussed, there are four—and only four—legal justifications for entering private premises. For several reasons, the preferred authority for entry is a judicial warrant.

Expanded Definition of "Search"

November 5, 2012

When the government, in an attempt to get information, "trespasses" on any of the items specifically listed in the Fourth Amendment ("persons, houses, papers and effects"), this constitutes a "search," whether or not there is any infringement of a suspect's legitimate expectation of privacy.

Publicity Can Be Costly

October 10, 2012

As private citizens, reporters are not bound by the Fourth Amendment. You are. Private citizens generally can't be sued for violating someone's Fourth Amendment rights. You can. Read on.

Lawyers and Miranda Warnings: Either/Or?

September 7, 2012

It sometimes happens that a suspect's lawyer offers to surrender him for arrest and agrees to let his or her client be questioned, provided the lawyer is present during the interrogation.

Immigration Checks

August 2, 2012

Under what circumstances is it permissible to inquire into a person's immigration status? The Supreme Court has addressed this question in several opinions, most recently in its 2012 decision reviewing Arizona's immigration statutes.

Innocent Behavior Can Be Suspicious

July 10, 2012

If you articulate circumstances that are suspicious, based on your training and experience, you should not be second-guessed by judges on the ground that the conduct you considered was just a combination of innocent acts.

Strip Searching Misdemeanor Arrestees

June 1, 2012

After issuing a series of decisions over the years that have been mostly deferential to custodial officials in managing their secure facilities, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a new ruling on the constitutionality of visual strip searches of minor-offense arrestees.

Suggestive Eyewitness ID

May 9, 2012

Identifying the perpetrator and clearing innocent suspects are crucial goals of every criminal investigation, and both depend on the use of reliable evidence. The Supreme Court has applied a constitutional due process test to the admissibility of testimony about an eyewitness's pretrial ID.

Miranda: When Custody Isn't "Custody"

April 4, 2012

Of the 55 subsequent Supreme Court opinions on Miranda issues, 14 have involved attempts to clarify the meaning of "custody," and in 12 of those 14, the Supreme Court reversed the decisions of state and federal appellate courts, which got it wrong.

New Restrictions on GPS Tracking

March 5, 2012

Police use of technology to catch criminals makes the U.S. Supreme Court nervous, as was evident in the recent Jones decision. In the absence of a recognized basis for a warrantless search, Jones does mean that a warrant must be obtained for installation andmonitoring of a GPS tracker on a suspect's vehicle.

Drawing Lines Around Miranda

February 13, 2012

In November, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 54th decision on a Miranda issue, in a case called Bobby v. Dixon. This is the third decision on the issue of the admissibility of a suspect's statements obtained after a belated warning and waiver.

The Independent Source Doctrine

January 12, 2012

Although some searches and seizures may only be justifiable under a single approach, many can be justified several different ways. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that when this is the case, any independent source of contested evidence will suffice, even when another does not.

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