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Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
Transcript of Exceptions to the 4th Amendment
What right do you have to keep your stuff private?
Does it change depending on where you are (home, school, courtroom, airplane)?
Does it change depending on what it is that you are trying to keep private?
Think of the items you currently have or could have in class right now.
Does the Constitution protect these “effects” from
unreasonable searches or seizures without a warrant based on probable cause?
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
Do you actually expect privacy in your effects that you bring with you to school?
Is this expectation of privacy one that others agree is reasonable?
You wanted to keep the things private in your backpack
Do certain things deserve more privacy?
1. Do you the student who owns the notebook expect that what you wrote will remain private?
2. Do you the class think that what is written is reasonable to keep private? Why?
a. What are the values that are important in keeping the notebook private?
b. On the other side, what are the reasons a police officer might want to read it?
c. If the police do not have any real reason to suspect you, should you have a reasonable expectation of privacy?
3. What if it is not a police officer, but your teacher? your parent/guardian?
-With the person’s CONSENT
And that can get confusing sometimes more than one person has the power to consent.
Can you think of examples?
- Roommates in an apartment
-A couple that owns a house together
-Renter who is renting the apartment and the landlord (sometimes,
depending on circumstances)
-Guest in a hotel and the owner of the hotel
What if you rent a storage unit?
Stop and Frisk
when police are questioning a person who is not yet “seized,” but they
want to make sure the person is not armed.
it is immediately obvious what it is for instance, a transparent
plastic bag of drugs that a person leaves sitting on the passenger seat of his car.
sometimes the law recognizes that the police have to make snap decisions because the decision is so urgent or so time-sensitive
The evidence is about to be destroyed
Police hear a person through the hotel room door yelling, “The cops are coming get rid of the drugs!” and then hear the toilet flushing. These situations include searching a building after a telephoned bomb threat, entering a house after smelling smoke or hearing screams, and other situations where the police don’t have time to get a warrant.
Screams from a house
Smoke coming from a window or house
We have talked about the normal ground rules for searches that the courts have put in place over the last 200 years, but does terrorism change those rules?
After the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, should there be different sets of rules that make it easier for the police to stop, search and even detain people, even if they may not have probable cause?
What would be the risks?
How has technology changed people’s expectation of privacy?
Do you have more or less privacy than your parents or your grandparents had?
How should the Fourth Amendment treat text messages, e-mails and other
electronic communications should the rules be the same as for a letter written on a piece of paper?
Most common exception. Police may search a lawfully arrested person and the area immediately around that person (for hidden weapons or for evidence that might be destroyed).
A police officer who has probable cause to believe that a vehicle contains contraband, or illegal items, may conduct a search of the vehicle without a warrant.
Customs agents are authorized to search without probable cause and warrants.
When can the police search without a warrant?
Your personal desire that things would remain private is not really a reasonable one. You know that it will be opened if the school just follows its own rules.
Is there is a clear school rule that requires all bags and backpacks to be opened to search for weapons
Search incident to a lawful arrest:
if a suspect is being chased, runs into an apartment and slams the door, the police don’t have to wait outside until they can get a court order.
Border and airport searches
A Department of the Interior agent, suspicious that Danny Kyllo was growing marijuana, used a thermal-imaging device to scan his triplex. The imaging was to be used to determine if the amount of heat emanating from the home was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. Subsequently, the imaging revealed that relatively hot areas existed, compared to the rest of the home. Based on informants, utility bills, and the thermal imaging, a federal magistrate judge issued a warrant to search Kyllo's home. The search unveiled growing marijuana.
After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. Ultimately affirming, the Court of Appeals held that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home, and even if he had, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the imager "did not expose any intimate details of Kyllo's life," only "amorphous 'hot spots' on the roof and exterior wall."
Does the use of a thermal-imaging device to detect relative amounts of heat emanating from a private home constitute an unconstitutional search in violation of the Fourth Amendment?
Officers were investigating a hit and run accident. After knocking on the front door for several minutes, Martin, completely naked and noticeably intoxicated, opened the door and then ran into another room. After discussion, the officers followed Martin inside and she was eventually arrested.
Can there be situations where a police officer
does not need a search warrant, but the search is valid?
A police officer saw Terry and another man acting suspiciously. According to the
officer, the men were walking up and down a street, stopping and looking in a store window
again and again. The officer thought they were “casing” the store and might be armed. In
response to this suspicion, the officer confronted the men, asked them to identify
themselves, and patted the men down. During the pat down, the officer found a gun on
both Terry and his companion. Terry was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and
the gun was admitted as evidence against him.
Terry v. Ohio (1968)
1. The conduct of the suspect was unusual;
2. The police officer had a reasonable belief that criminal activity was afoot;
3. The police officer had a reasonable belief that the suspect was armed; and
4. The police officer had a reasonable belief that the suspect posed imminent harm to
the officer or the community
The Supreme Court determined the gun could be admitted as evidence against
Terry. According to the Court, such a “Stop and Frisk” search was permitted by the
Constitution so long as:
John is arrested for driving while intoxicated after being pulled over for running a red light. A search of his car reveals 8 bags of heroin in the glove compartment and an illegal handgun in the trunk. The heroin is admissible evidence for which no warrant was required as the glove compartment is certainly within John’s wingspan. The gun found in the trunk, however, was not within his wingspan, and was the result of an unreasonable search. This evidence will be excluded.
The police are called to Donald’s house by neighbors who see him beating up his wife, Victoria. After properly entering the house police notice Donald’s prized gun collection hanging on the wall. Fortunately for the officers, the guns are not loaded. Unfortunately for Donald, many of them are illegal and Donald is arrested for battery as well as for the illegal guns, which are seized.
Officer Warren knocks on a murder suspect’s door. the door is answered by the suspect’s 6 year old child, Timmy. The officer asks Timmy “Is it okay if I come in and talk to your Dad? He’s expecting me.” And then walks into the apartment. He then sees the suspect, Roland, sitting on the sofa oiling his illegal Tommy-gun, the suspected murder weapon. He arrests Roland for possession of the gun and seizes the evidence.
Officer P. Harker’s
Officer Smith has reason to believe that an abandoned car on the corner contains illegal drugs in the trunk. The car is missing all four wheels and is up on cinder blocks, and the engine was stolen long ago. Assuming that the automobile exception applies, Officer Smith uses a crowbar to force open the still-working lock on the trunk. There, he finds 10 kilos of cocaine. Rushing back to the station house to show off the evidence to his Captain, Officer Smith runs into Judge Turner. Judge Turner says “You should have called me first. While it’s great to get the drugs off the street, unfortunately we can’t use this as evidence against anyone. The search was illegal, as the automobile exception to the warrant requirement only applies when the vehicle is actually capable of being moved.
While running from police, Fred enters Joe’s garage and the police follow Fred in. (They are not required to give up pursuit until such time as they can obtain a search warrant for the premises.) While in Joe's garage, police notice illegal drugs in plain view. They can arrest Fred for his crimes, and they can also seize the drugs and arrest Joe for possession of the drugs, even though Joe had nothing to do with Fred and the police were in Joe’s garage only because of the hot pursuit of Fred!
No warrant is required for a felony arrest in a public place, even if the arresting officer had ample time to procure a warrant, so long as the officer possessed probable cause that the suspect committed the crime. Felony arrests in places not open to the public generally do require a warrant, unless the officer is in "hot pursuit" of a fleeing felon