Flight and the Fourth Amendment
October 7, 2015
Sometimes, people run when they see you coming. May you chase them? If you do, does that amount to a "show of authority" constituting a detention,...
September 2, 2015
In some cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that particular searches and seizures need only "reasonable suspicion" to be constitutional—not the...
Hotel/Motel Registry Checks
August 21, 2015
A supreme court decision might have the adverse effect of making it easier for motels conspiring with criminals to thwart police...
Entries and Civil Liability
July 7, 2015
Fortunately, the Supreme Court recently overturned two federal court rulings that had exposed officers to potential liability in cases involving...
Unlawfully Prolonged Traffic Stop
June 18, 2015
Is it OK under the Fourth Amendment to turn a traffic stop into a criminal investigation? Of course it is, provided the justification for the additional...
Admonitions and Waivers
May 4, 2015
Most of your communications with criminal suspects are "unscripted" dialogue. But in certain situations it can be very important that you say the right...
Search Warrant Basics
April 28, 2015
There are good reasons why officers need to become more comfortable with writing search warrant applications, and to delay non-emergency searches until...
Getting Your Case Filed
March 5, 2015
Although the prosecutor's decision to decline to pursue a prosecution could be for a variety of reasons, there are steps you can take to ensure that a...
Mistake of Law: To Err Is Human
February 27, 2015
In a series of cases, the court has upheld searches and seizures made by officers who were mistaken in their understanding of the facts they confronted,...
Legal Issues With Body Cams
January 26, 2015
Recent events have accelerated law enforcement's timetable for adopting wearable audio-video recording devices. But using this technology has legal...