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Chapter6: Police and Law

by: Susannah Mace

Chapter6: Police and Law CRJU 101 003

Susannah Mace
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Chapter 6 Textbook Notes
The American Criminal Justice System
Therese Lee Clement
Class Notes
police, Law, police departments




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Susannah Mace on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 101 003 at University of South Carolina taught by Therese Lee Clement in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 65 views. For similar materials see The American Criminal Justice System in Criminology & Criminal Justice at University of South Carolina.

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Date Created: 10/10/16
CHAPTER 6: POLICE AND LAW LEGAL LIMITATIONS ON POLICE INVESTIGATIONS ● Judge’s must seek to interpret the Constitution in a way that balances crime  control and the protection of individual rights ● Officers can’t be constantly updating themselves on the law, so their compliance  with the law depends on proper training and updates from supervisors SEARCH AND SEIZURE CONCEPTS ● 4th Amendment protects people from unreasonable search and seizures ● This is how the Supreme Court defines those terms  ○ Search – government officials’ examination of and hunt for  evidence on a person or in a place in manner that intrudes on reasonable  expectations of privacy ■ Bringing a drug sniffing dog to the front door of  someone’s house IS a search ○ Reasonable expectation of privacy – the objective standard  developed by the courts for determining whether a government intrusion into an  individual’s person or property constitutes a search because it interferes with the  individual’s interests that are normally protected from gov. examination ○ Plain view doctrine – permits officers to notice and use as  evidence items that are visible to them when they are located where they are  permitted to be, such as a public sidewalk (without a warrant) ○ Seizures – situations in which police officers use their authority to  deprive people of their property and that must not be “unreasonable” according to the 4th amendment  ■ If a person is not free to leave when when officers  assert their authority to halt that individuals movement, seizure has  occurred that MUST be reasonable ■ An arrest is a seizure ■ Property can be subject to seizure also  ○ Stop – gov officials’ interference with an individual’s freedom of  movement for a duration that typically lasts less than one hour and only rarely  extends for as long as several hours ■ MUST be justified by reasonable suspicion  ■ When cop pulls driver over for traffic violation ○ Reasonable suspicion – a police officer’s belief based on  articulable facts that would be recognized by others in a similar situation as  indicating that criminal activity is afoot and necessitates further investigation that  will intrude on an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy USE OF FORCE AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT ● Use of excessive force cannot be fought with 8th amendment cruel and unusual  punishment because that implies person has already been charged with a crime ● Instead, for people who haven’t been convicted of a crime, excessive force can  be fought with 4th Amendment ○ “Unreasonable seizure” ● Policing up until the 1980s ○ Allowed to use whatever force was necessary to arrest a fleeing  felon ●  Tennessee v. Garner (1985) – police may not use deadly force in apprehending  a fleeing felon “unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable  cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical  injury to the officer or others” ○ Difficult to judge how dangerous a suspect may be and have to  make such quick judgements/decisions  THE CONCEPT OF ARREST ● ALL arrests must be supported by probable cause ● Probable cause – an amount of reliable information indicating that it is more likely than not that the evidence will be found in a specific location or that a specific person is  guilty of a crime WARRANTS AND PROBABLE CAUSE ● Certain elements must be fulfilled, according to the Fourth Amendment, in order  to obtain an arrest warrant 1. Existence of probable cause 2. Evidence must be presented to judicial officer and supported by  an oath or affirmation  a. Fulfilled by presenting an Affidavit – written  statement of fact, supported by oath or affirmation, submitted to judicial  officials to fulfil the requirements of probable cause for obtaining a  warrant 3. Warrant must describe the specific place to be searched ● Illinois v. Gates (1983) – established the flexible totality of circumstances test for  determining the existence of the probable cause needed for obtaining a search warrant ● Totality of circumstances – flexible test established for identifying whether  probable cause exists that permits the judge to determine whether the available  evidence is both sufficient and reliable enough to issue a warrant WARRANTLESS SEARCHES ● Red titles are the 6 kinds of searches that may be legally conducted without a  warrant SPECIAL NEEDS BEYOND THE NORMAL PURPOSES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ● Metal detector by TSA ● Entering the border ● Sobriety checkpoints  STOP­AND­FRISK ON THE STREETS ● Terry v. Ohio (1968) – SC said officers could use stop­and­frisk procedure to  suspects on the streets when there is reasonable suspicion that they are armed and  involved in criminal activity  ● Stop­and­frisk search –Limited search approved that allows officers to pat down  suspects over the clothes on the street if there is reasonable suspicion of dangerous  criminal activity SEARCH INCIDENT TO A LAWFUL ARREST ● Chimel v. California (1969) – endorsed warrantless searches for weapons and  evidence in the immediate vicinity of people who are lawfully arrested ● Can only sweep the rooms where arrestee may have been but need a warrant to  open drawers or anything ● In a car, can only search compartments within reach of the arrestee EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES ● Exigent circumstances – when there is an immediate threat to public safety or the risk that evidence will be destroyed, officers may search, arrest, or question suspects  without obtaining a warrant or following other unusual rules of criminal procedures CONSENT ● Consent search – a permissible warrantless search of a person, vehicle, home,  or other location based on a person with proper authority or the reasonable appearance  of proper authority voluntarily granting permission for the search to take place ● United States v. Drayton (2002) – the police do not have to inform people of their  right to say “no” when asked if they wish to consent to a search AUTOMOBILE SEARCHES ● When can officers stop a car? ○ When an officer observes traffic violation or if there is a basis of  reasonable suspicion concerning the involvement of the car, its driver, or its  passengers, in a crime ● How extensively can they search the vehicle without a warrant? ○ They can shine a flashlight to make a visible inspection of a car’s  interior through its windows ○ Can look at vehicle identification number on the dashboard and  inside door of a validly stopped vehicle ● Inventory search – permissible warrantless search of a vehicle that has been  “impounded” –meaning that it is in police custody– so that police can make a record of  the items contained in the vehicle QUESTIONING SUSPECTS ● Must respect individuals 5th amendment right (self incrimination) and cannot  coerce them into a confession MIRANDA RULES ● Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – suspects in custody must be informed of their rights  to remain silent and be represented during questioning ● Miranda Rights 1. You have the right to remain silent 2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court of law 3. You have a right to have an attorney present during interrogation  and to have an opportunity to consult with an attorney 4. If you cannot afford an attorney the state will provide one ● “Public safety” exception – Exception to Miranda requirements that permit the  police to immediately question a suspect in custody w/o providing any warnings when  public safety would be jeopardized by taking the time to supply the warnings THE CONSEQUENCES OF MIRANDA ● Officers have tricks around Miranda requirements ● Police can lie when interrogating suspects in order to get a confession THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE ● Exclusionary rule – the principle that illegally obtained evidence must be  excluded from trial THE APPLICATION OF THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE TO THE STATES ● Wolf v. Colorado (1949) – 4th Amendment was applied against searches by state and local police officers, but the exclusionary rule was not imposed as the remedy for  violations of the 4th Amendment right by these officials ● Mapp v. Ohio (1961) – Court applied exclusionary rule to the states ● Weeks v. United States (1914) – SC decision applying the exclusionary rule as  the remedy for improper searches by federal law enforcement officials  ● Why did the Supreme Court see the exclusionary rule as necessary? (Weeks v.  US) 1. declared that the exclusionary rule is essential to  make the 4th Amendment meaningful  2. Mapp showed rule is required by Constitution 3. Majority opinion showed alternatives to the rule  don’t work 4. Use of improperly obtained evidence by officials  who are responsible for upholding the law only serves to diminish respect  for the law 5. Absence of rule would diminish all protections of  rights  6. Rule is an effective means of deterring police and  prosecutors from violating constitutional rights  EXCEPTIONS TO THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE ● Only a small amount of people make a motion to suppress (asking judge to  suppress illegally obtained evidence) ● Only a small fraction of motions to suppress are granted “Good Faith” Exception ● “Good faith” exception – exception to the exclusionary rule that permits the use of improperly obtained evidence when police officers acted in honest reliance on a  defective statute, a warrant improperly issued by a magistrate, or consent to search by  someone who lacked authority to give such permission ● United States v. Leon (1984) – announced “good faith” exception to the  exclusionary rule “Inevitable Discovery” Rule ● “Inevitable discovery” rule – improperly obtained evidence can be used when it  would later have been discovered by the police ● Nix v. Williams (1984) – SC creates “inevitable discovery” exception to the  exclusionary rule


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