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Understanding Fourth Amendment Seizure

OR Supreme Court Rules Police Can't Take Suspect's Garbage Without a Warrant

The high court found that police had violated the Oregon Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches because Lien and Wilverding had privacy interests in their trash and because the garbage hauling company acted as “an agent” of police by collecting the trash for a detective.

May 13, 2019

Reasons why the SureFire Stiletto® Gives you Tactical Advantages Every Time
Community Caretaking Searches

Community Caretaking Searches

Few of the safeguards granted to individuals in the United States under the Bill of Rights are more vociferously defended than the Fourth Amendment guaranteeing protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. This is especially the case where the entry of private residences is concerned.

April 7, 2016

Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable Suspicion

In some cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 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?

September 2, 2015

Mistake of Law: To Err Is Human

Mistake of Law: To Err Is Human

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, or as to the law to be applied.

February 27, 2015

SCOTUS Rules Evidence Cannot Be Suppressed Just Because an Officer Made a "Reasonable" Traffic Stop Mistake

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the keystone of the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizure is the word "unreasonable." And in this case, the officer's belief that having a broken tail light was illegal counted as a reasonable mistake. The traffic stop and the subsequent consensual search of the car were therefore also reasonable.

December 16, 2014

The 5 Biggest Search-and-Seizure Myths

The 5 Biggest Search-and-Seizure Myths

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule binding on the states in the 1961 decision in Mapp v. Ohio, thousands of published decisions from state and federal courts have applied the exclusionary rule to thousands of searches and seizures. It's no wonder the 50-year tidal wave of exclusionary decisions has left confusion and misunderstanding in its wake. Here are five areas of the law that seem to suffer the most in translation.

November 11, 2014

Pa. Court Rules on Warrantless Vehicle Searches

Pa. Court Rules on Warrantless Vehicle Searches

The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruled last week that police are allowed to search vehicles without a warrant. The split-decision from the Supreme Court allows police to conduct searches of cars based only on probable cause.

May 15, 2014

Chasing Misdemeanants

Chasing Misdemeanants

Some search-and-seizure rules are not very clear, and state and local federal courts might apply them differently. How can you be expected to pick and choose the right rule on an issue for which there doesn't seem to be just one "right" rule?

January 6, 2014

Video: Fla. Officer Suspended In Bra Search

Video: Fla. Officer Suspended In Bra Search

The Lakeland (Fla.) Police officer who told a woman to shake out her bra for drugs received a one-day suspension. Officer Dustin Fetz must also complete re-training in arrest, search and seizure laws and procedures, and complete an in-depth research project.

September 27, 2013

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