William Bratton is taking over the helm of the NYPD, what should be his top priority?
In smaller agencies, policy manuals—if they existed—were just a few policy statements. Now there are multiple bound volumes that no officer can be expected to memorize, let alone understand. — Tom Aveni, Police Policy Studies Council
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.
Evidence discovered during a search incident to an arrest supported by PC is not suppressible in the majority of state courts.
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.
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.
On average, 60,000 officers are assaulted on the job every year. That's an average of 164 per day. The risk level you face on the job makes it important not only to resist complacency and to follow prudent tactics, but also to understand how to ensure that your interactions with suspects are constitutionally justifiable, so that you are never forced to choose between being safe and being sued.
In the 2007 decision in Brendlin v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court added yet another to a series of Fourth Amendment opinions on the subject of vehicle searches and seizures involving passengers, rather than drivers.
The detective rapped on the front door. Then three seconds later, instead of waiting for a resident to answer, one of the officers on his team kicked in the door. They had expected to find a meth lab in the apartment, but the man and woman they'd awakened in the middle of the night and handcuffed had committed no crimes. The officers had raided the wrong apartment.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said that "Because many situations which confront officers in the course of executing their duties are more or less ambiguous, room must be allowed for some mistakes on their part. But the mistakes must be those of reasonable men, acting on facts leading sensibly to their conclusions of probability." (Brinegar v. U.S.)
If the court finds that the Constitution was violated by a vehicle impound, the existence of an authorizing statute or policy may not be enough to save you and your agency from civil liability and suppression of resulting evidence.
If a criminal exposes evidence in ways that can be detected by use of the personal senses, there is no Fourth Amendment “search” involved in discovering the presence of such items. Assuming no previous unlawful search, the seizure of the items is presumptively reasonable if there is probable cause to associate them with criminal activity.
The requirement of the Fourth Amendment is that all searches be "reasonable." The Supreme Court has ruled that warrantless searches are presumed to be unreasonable, "subject only to a few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions."
After pussyfooting around the issue for years, the U.S. Supreme Court has finally come to a decision on what justifies a probation or parole search.
Any law enforcement entry into private premises, including a residence, or an office or other commercial area that is not open to the public, is governed by the Fourth Amendment. Officers may make lawful entry only in four ways, and the consequences of unlawful entry can include suppression of evidence and civil liability.
One of the "firmly established exceptions" to the warrant requirement for searches and seizures is the "consent exception."
The Fourth Amendment governs three forms of activity: searches (intrusions into privacy), seizures of the person (detentions and arrests), and seizures of property. If these acts are not authorized by judicial warrant, they must come within one or more of the court-created exceptions for warrantless search and seizure (Katz v. U.S.). One of these exceptions is called “plain view.”
There's always a risk that when a Supreme Court decision discusses two or more major points, those points may get blurred. One familiar example is Terry v. Ohio, which is often cited as the opinion that gave us the "stop and frisk" rule.