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Criminal Procedure
University of Mississippi School of Law
Nowlin, Jack Wade

I. Fourth Amendment: Arrest, Search and Seizure

A. Introduction

1. two views of the 4th amendment:

a) warrant preference view: search is presumptively unreasonable if conducted without a warrant because warrant clause is connected to the search and seizure clause.

b) separate clauses view: warrant is not necessary if the search is otherwise reasonable because the warrant clause is not connected to the search and seizure clause.

2. Four requirements of a valid search warrant

a) issued by a neutral magistrate

b) based on probable cause

c) supported by oath or affidavit

d) describes with particularity the places to be searched and the items to be seized.

B. Exclusionary Rule

1. Definition – evidence obtained in violation of the 4th amendment must be excluded at trial.

2. The exclusionary rule applies to the states through the 14th amendment – Mapp v. Ohio

a) overruled Wolf v. Colorado which held that the exclusionary rule did not apply because of federalism concerns.

b) put an end to the “silver platter” doctrine where state agents could hand over illegally seized evidence to federal agents for state prosecution because the federal agents had not obtained it illegally.

c) reasoning: without the exclusionary rule, the 4th amendment has no bite.

3. Exception to the exclusionary rule: Evidence obtained in good faith, but upon a defective warrant is admissible – Leon

a) the reliance must be objectively reasonable – whether a reasonably well trained officer would have known that the search was illegal, considering all of the circumstances.

b) police can not be deterred by exclusion if they acted in good faith, so there is no reason to exclude the otherwise trustworthy evidence because of a technical defect.

c) Four Exceptions to Leon

(1) affidavit contained information that the police knew to be false or had a reckless disregard for its truth

(2) magistrate has wholly abandoned his judicial role by failing to be neutral

(3) affidavit so lacking in probable cause that belief in it is unreasonable

(4) warrant is so facially deficient that the officers could not reasonably presume it to be valid.

C. What Constitutes A Search?

1. 4th amendment only triggered by government action.

a) private actors are considered government agents if:

(1) act at the direction or request of the government

(2) act pursuant to government policy or regulation

(3) act with the knowledge, acquiescence, or encouragement of the government

(4) act with a purpose or motivation to be a government actor

2. Katz – two pronged test for whether there has been a search (Harlan concurrence)

a) person has manifested actual (subjective) expectation of privacy

b) expectation is one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable

c) Example of activity that is not a search under the 4th amendment because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy:

(1) California v. Greenwood – police rummaging through your garbage is not a search because society does not recognize a reasonable it is accessible to the public.

(2) police obtaining your phone records is not a search because the numbers dialed from your phone are gathered by the phone company for billing.

(3) Florida v. Riley – police inspecting your backyard from a helicopter is not a search because members of the general public may legally do so from the same vantage point.

(4) U.S. v. Knotts – police placing a beeper on your car is not a search because you put your car in plain view when you drive on the highway, and there is no constitutional interest in not having a beeper on your property.

(5) U.S. v. Place – drug dog sniffing your luggage is not a search because you have no privacy interest in odors emanating from luggage.

(6) U.S. v. White – police may “wire” a friend of yours to eavesdrop on and even record your conversation and it is not a search because you assume the risk that your friend is an informant.

d) Examples of activity that does constitute a search:

(1) Karo – police may not monitor a beeper once it has entered a constitutionally protected area like a home because it reveals information that could not be obtained by surveillance from a public place.

3. Curtailage/Open Fields Doctrine

a) Dunn identified 4 factors for determining whether an area is within the curtailage of the home, and therefore protected from unreasonable search:

(1) the proximity of the area to the home

(2) whether there is an enclosure that surrounds both the home and the area

(3) the nature of the uses to which the area is put

(4) the steps taken to protect the area from observation

b) a warrant may be required to search curtailage, but no warrant is ever required to look through an open field – it is not even a 4th amendment “search” because there is no expectation of privacy.

D. Probable Cause

1. Definition of Probable Cause to search is different than probable cause to arrest:

a) probable cause to search means that there is a “fair probability that evidence of a crime is presently in the place to be searched.”

b) probable cause to arrest means that there is a fair probabi

ommitted and the defendant did it.

2. Exception for home arrests – Arrest warrant may be required where the police wish to arrest a person in his home in the absence of exigent circumstances – Payton v. New York.

a) rationale: home intrusion is serious constitutional issue, and since a warrant is required to search a home, it should be required to enter a home to arrest a person.

b) ex: if police have a warrant to arrest A, and know that A is at B’s house, police must get a search warrant to enter B’s house.

3. use of deadly force is a “seizure” for 4th amendment purposes – Tennessee v. Garner

a) officer must have probable cause to believe that the suspect poses an immediate threat of serious bodily harm;

b) the use of deadly force must be necessary to prevent escape;

c) if feasible, a warning shot is required.

G. Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement

1. Exigent Circumstances – no bright line rule for determining when exigent circumstances exist, but Dressler gives three guidelines:

a) impracticability or unreasonableness of obtaining the warrant;

b) appropriate scope – scope of the search has to be limited to the exigency

c) probable cause must still be present

d) examples:

(1) police reasonably believe that the suspect will destroy evidence if they wait

(2) police in hot pursuit of a fleeing felony suspect may follow him into a house without a warrant

2. Search Incident to Arrest – police may search area within the suspect’s immediate control (wingspan) from which he may draw a weapon or destroy evidence – Chimel v. California

a) must have a valid arrest – meaning that there must be a warrant or some exception must apply

b) the search must occur contemporaneously

c) examples:

(1) in U.S. v. Robinson, the court held that a police officer may perform a full body search (reaching into all pockets) pursuant to a full custodial arrestin Vale v. Louisiana the court held that police could not thoroughly search the back room of a house (without a search warrant) pursuant to the arrest of the suspect at