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Fourth Amendment

Recalling Police Use of Force Law—Constitutional Law Crate, Part 1

Attorney Missy O'Linn explains her "Constitutional Law Crate," which she created as 11 flash cards assembled into a cube, or crate, to give officers a way to remember the most imperative information when testifying in court, such as the three levels of force and Graham v. Connor.

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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.

Flight and the Fourth Amendment

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?

Unlawfully Prolonged Traffic Stop

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.

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.

Understanding Fourth Amendment "Standing"

A defendant cannot suppress evidence if he cannot show that his own legitimate rights were violated in the way it was obtained.

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.

Sued for Shooting a Dog

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.

SCOTUS Hears Case on Officer's Mistaken Traffic Stop That Led to Cocaine Bust

The Supreme Court opened its new term Monday pondering whether a police officer's misunderstanding of the law can justify a traffic stop that led to the seizure of illegal drugs.

Stop and Frisk?

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.