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Open Wide and Say, "Ahhh"

Open Wide and Say, "Ahhh"

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.

August 5, 2013

Official Misinformation

Official Misinformation

What the exclusionary rule has actually meant in practice is that thousands (maybe millions) of criminals have been able to stop the prosecution from using critical evidence of their guilt to hold them accountable for their crimes.

March 1, 2009

No Explanation Required

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.

September 1, 2008

How to Tell When You Need a Search Warrant

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.

March 1, 2008

Residential Entry After Outdoors Arrest

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.

February 1, 2008

Seizing and Searching Passengers

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.

September 1, 2007

Third Party Consent Searches

One of the "firmly established exceptions" to the warrant requirement for searches and seizures is the "consent exception."

May 1, 2006

Searching Third-Party Residences

Most officers are aware of the general rule on entering a suspect's home to arrest him or to search for evidence. These actions must be supported by either valid consent or a recognized exigency.

August 1, 2005

Holding Back Home Occupants

When you go into a suspect’s home to execute a search warrant, it’s not uncommon to find several people present, whether suspects, family members, or others. Sometimes, occupants may outnumber officers on the scene. This can create problems of safety and control, making it more difficult to carry out the search. Realizing this, the Supreme Court has provided guidelines on the ability of officers to detain, handcuff, and question occupants while a search takes place.

May 1, 2005

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