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Search Warrant Detentions
Search Warrant Detentions

April 30, 2013
set forth in a 1981 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court (Michigan v. Summers), reaffirmed in a 2005 ruling (Muehler v, Mena), and limited by a 2013 decision (Bailey v. U.S.). Officers need to be aware of the principles set forth in each of these cases

Immigration Checks
Immigration Checks

August 2, 2012
? Muehler v. Mena Police officers with a search warrant went to a home to look for weapons and other evidence of a drive-by gang shooting. Iris Mena, an occupant of the residence, was detained during the search, although she was not one of the suspects. During her detention, INS agents accompanying the police questioned Mena about her citizenship and asked to see her immigration

Accent on Officer Safety
Accent on Officer Safety

September 20, 2011
of harm to both officers and occupants." (Muehler v. Mena) Safety Sweep Once you're lawfully inside a residence, your articulable suspicion that there may be a potential assailant present justifies a safety sweep of the premises. "Unlike an encounter on the street or along a highway, an in-home arrest puts the officer at the disadvantage of being on his

Supreme Court Reins In Ariz. Immigration Law
Supreme Court Reins In Ariz. Immigration Law

June 25, 2012
in the August issue of POLICE Magazine, said Monday's ruling doesn't change much for patrol officers. Two earlier court decisions—INS v. Delgado (1984) and Muehler v. Mena (2005)—already gave officers the right to check immigration status during a lawful detention. "For enforcement officers, it really doesn't change anything," Rutledge told POLICE. "As

No Explanation Required

September 1, 2008
Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status." (Muehler v. Mena) Rolling Encounters Marked police cars and motorcycles are allowed to drive along public streets and highways, the same as other vehicles. As long as no colored lights or sirens are used and the police car doesn't cut off another car or block a pedestrian's route, the fact

Holding Back Home Occupants

May 1, 2005
addressed in a 2005 Supreme Court decision. Muehler v. Mena Investigating a recent drive-by shooting, police in Simi Valley, Calif., obtained a warrant to search a suspected gang member's house for weapons, ammunition, and gang paraphernalia. Because of the high-risk nature of the case, SWAT made the initial entry. Four occupants, including Iris Mena, were handcuffed

Reasonable Execution of Search Warrants
Reasonable Execution of Search Warrants

August 1, 2007
) Detention and Questioning of Occupants As long as officers are acting reasonably and within the scope of a valid warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court has said they may briefly detain and question occupants (Muehler v. Mena) and may "routinely exercise unquestioned command of the situation." (Michigan v. Summers) The court has been especially protective of the right of officers to take

Supreme Court to Consider Extent of Police Searches

June 17, 2004
during the incident. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and added that police did not have the right to question Mena’s citizenship by searching for immigration papers. She is a Salvadorian immigrant. The case, Muehler v. Mena, has been seen by some police officer groups as a possible way for the court to make clear that officers can handcuff and question people while searching

Reasonable Suspicion
Reasonable Suspicion

September 2, 2015
that particular searches and seizures need only "reasonable suspicion" to be constitutional—not the higher justification level of probable cause. What's the difference, and when is reasonable suspicion sufficient? In Ornelas v. U.S., the court said this: "Articulating precisely what 'reasonable suspicion' and 'probable cause' mean is not possible. They are commonsense, nontechnical

Search Warrant Basics
Search Warrant Basics

April 28, 2015
're not required to get a warrant, just because you could. Such a search "is reasonable and thus consistent with the Fourth Amendment, irrespective of the availability of a warrant." (Fernandez v. California) But there are good reasons why officers need to become more comfortable with writing search warrant applications, and to delay non-emergency searches until warrants can be obtained

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