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
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, requiring reasonable suspicion?
October 7, 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 investigation is developed during the reasonable duration of the traffic stop—not after.
June 18, 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, or as to the law to be applied.
February 27, 2015
A defendant cannot suppress evidence if he cannot show that his own legitimate rights were violated in the way it was obtained.
December 3, 2014
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
Your biggest fear in a dog shooting lawsuit is punitive damages. While compensatory damages are likely to be covered by your employer, punitive damages are probably coming out of your pocket.
November 4, 2014
Many people who use the term "stop and frisk" fail to realize that there actually is no such concept in the law, and that the phrase "stop and frisk" couples two constitutionally distinct activities that do not necessarily coincide. This misunderstanding is easily traced to the coincidence in Terry v. Ohio.
May 1, 2014
Private residences enjoy the highest levels of Fourth Amendment protection against governmental intrusion. Here are the 10 most common ways to get inside a home without violating the Fourth Amendment.
February 10, 2014
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
What if an object only comes into plain view after an officer shines a flashlight or spotlight into an area, or looks through binoculars? Does this use of sense-enhancing devices make a difference in the Fourth Amendment calculation of reasonableness?
December 6, 2013
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
The Supreme Court has made it more difficult for law enforcement officers to obtain the most probative evidence of impaired driving—a measure of the alcohol concentration in a sample of the suspect's blood.
June 7, 2013
Essentially, because of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. And the public has no sympathy whatsoever for your precarious position.
June 5, 2013
Two cases from Florida have brought the U.S. Supreme Court to two different conclusions regarding K-9 searches in 2013. One is an affirmation of existing practice, but the other breaks new ground and imposes new limits.
May 3, 2013