FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer
Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The decade of the 1960s gave us four of the most significant cases that apply to our daily work: Mapp, Brady, Miranda, and Terry. These four are among the most prominent criminal law cases you should know more about to understand how we got to where we are.
Checkpoint stops are different-multiple vehicles are stopped one after the other, at the same place, without any suspicion beforehand that anyone in particular may be engaged in unlawful activity.
The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule is not absolute. In a number of decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that even where a police officer makes an unreasonable search or seizure, there may be compelling reasons not to exclude resulting evidence.
Given the ever-present risks to your survival, it's important for you to know that in numerous decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has created special rules to allow you to investigate crimes and apprehend suspects without undue restrictions that jeopardize your safety. Being aware of these cases can help you avoid taking chances you don't have to take.
In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court didn't really clarify the issue of Mirandizing juveniles. Until further issues are litigated, officers should consult policy advisers to obtain guidelines for Mirandizing and interrogating juvenile suspects.
Warrantless entries are limited to those authorized by consent, probation or parole search conditions, or "exigent circumstances" involving some sort of emergency requiring immediate action. One category of exigency that may justify warrantless entry is the need to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.
Some actions you take have been classified by Supreme Court decisions as requiring that you articulate a "reasonable suspicion" in order to make them constitutionally reasonable, while others can be undertaken only if there is "probable cause" ("PC"). But what do these terms mean? And how do you match the right level of justification with the kind of conduct you're seeking to justify?
"Interrogation" has been defined by the Supreme Court to include both direct questioning and its "functional equivalent." What does this term mean? Three Supreme Court cases and numerous decisions from the federal appeals court have considered this question.
When a suspect's vehicle is lawfully impounded (such as when the driver is arrested where the vehicle cannot be safely parked and locked, and there is no sober, licensed driver to take custody of it), it is usually permissible to conduct a standard inventory of the vehicle and its contents.
When you take down a drug house, or enter a home to investigate domestic violence, or serve a search warrant at a residence, which of the multiple people that you sometimes encounter would have the legal standing to challenge the lawfulness of your entry and search?
The Constitution does not forbid you to talk to a person just because that person has an attorney, or just because the attorney tells you not to do it. Instead, the law focuses on whether the suspect is willing to talk without his or her attorney present.
In the usual case, both the seizure and the search must be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment in order for the evidence to be admissible. The U.S. Supreme Court and federal appeals courts have considered both issues when officers have used K-9s to detect contraband.
It would be great if there were a single, simple rule to tell you where and when you may lawfully search a vehicle for contraband or evidence. Unfortunately, there are multiple rules, and sometimes more than one of them may apply.
Flaws in a warrant that are so obvious you should have recognized them can doom your search and seizure and eliminate the usual "good faith" protection.