Probable Cause (Chap. 1)
4th amend.: right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure. Warrant shall be issued only upon probable cause.
Probable cause (PC): the level of suspicion required to justify certain governmental intrusions upon interests protected by the 4th Amend.
PC to search: “a fair probability that the contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place”
PC to arrest through warrant or warrantless: exists when police have at the moment of arrest, knowledge of facts and circumstances grounded in reasonably trustworthy information and sufficient in themselves to warrant a belief by a prudent person that an offense has been or is being committed by the person to be arrested.
Finding the Balance: The best compromise that has been found for accommodating the often opposing interests of privacy and effective law enforcement.
1. Preventing ongoing and future crimes
2. Solving past crimes
3. Protecting the physical safety of police officers
4. Protecting the police from allegations of theft
Gov’t interest: fight crime/protect citizens ______________4th A right against unreasonable S&S
(need) ▲ (invasion)
US v. Draper (heroin found in his person. Arrested without warrant when got off train based on the information from informant)
• informant(special employee)’s information was accurate and reliable.
• dissent: arresting officer did not know the grounds of the information.
Aguilar v. Texas (search for a home with warrant)
• affidavit not provided a sufficient basis for a finding of PC, so evidence obtained as a result of a search was inadmissible.
• PC test in affidavit
– Prong 1: The Basis of Knowledge Test
i) The affidavit must apprise the magistrate of some of the underlying circumstances from which the informant concluded contraband was located in a particular place.
Alternatively stated, the quality of the message: how does the informant know what she claims to know: personal knowledge, hearsay, rumor?
ii) Amount of detail
iii) Independent corroboration
– Prong 2: The Veracity Test
The affidavit must describe the underlying circumstances from which the affiant concluded that the informant was “credible” or the informant’s information was reliable. Alternatively stated, the quality of the messenger: what is the factual basis for claiming that the informant is worthy of belief?
i) Credibility: past history with informant
ii) Reliability: if no history, reliability of information: Independent corroboration of information
• Sources of information for Probable Cause to support search warrants and arrest warrants
– victims; eyewitnesses (prongs 1 and 2 implied)
– law enforcement
– named cooperating witnesses
– unnamed confidential informants
– with prior history
– first time informants (with independent corroboration)
– anonymous sources
– weapons seized during stops for reasonable suspicion
– evidence seized in plain view or during consensual searches and interviews
Cunha v. Superior Court(respondent acted in suspected manner. Police approached them and reached into the pocket with heroin)
• Probable cause for arrest
– A man of ordinary care and prudence to believe a strong suspicion based on state of facts.
– circumstances would warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that the action was appropriate.
– circumstance should establish specific and articulable facts constituting PC
Illinois v. Gates (A couple involved in marijuana dealing transported from FL to Chicago. Police got a letter for their trip to FL)
• totality of circumstances should be co
o foreclose good faith:
1. Knowing or reckless falsity of affidavit
2. Not merely rubber stamp
3. Facially inadequate warrant
A. Based upon affidavit so lacking in indicia of PC to render reasonably well-trained officer’s belief in warrant unreasonable
B. Warrant fails to particularize place to be searched or thing(s) to be seized
Turns on “objective reasonableness”
United States v. LeonHOLDS that in balancing social costs against deterrence benefits, officers acting in reasonable reliance on search warrant issued by detached & neutral magistrate may use evidence seized in P case-in-chief
Deterrence – undercut by cases limiting Exclusionary Rule application
i. May not raise 4th A. violation in habeas corpus petition if fully & fairly litigated already (Stone v. Powell)
ii. Does not extend to grand jury Q’s based on illegal evidence (U.S. v. Calandra)
iii. May use evidence in fed civil proceedings (U.S. v. Davis)
iv. Standing limited to person whose rights were violated (Rakas v. Illinois)
v. While inadmissible in P case-in-chief, may use to impeach D’s direct testimony (Walder v. U.S.)
vi. And to impeach D’s response to cross-exam (U.S. v. Havens)
vii. No per se rule against use of evidence that is found through chain of causation beginning w/ illegal arrest (Brown v. Illinois)(attenuated)
viii. W’s testimony admissible even if identity learned in unconstitutional search
ix. Good-faith reliance on statute later held unconstitutional (Michigan v. DiFillippo)