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The Fourth Amendment of the federal laws - Essay Example

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The Fourth Amendment of the federal laws governs criminal procedure that starts from seeking of warrants of searches, seizures, and arrest up to the judicial processes. This paper seeks to discuss legal issues in criminal procedure through exploring a case study. …
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The Fourth Amendment of the federal laws
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MID TERM ESSAY QUESTIONS 6RD February Midterm essay questions Introduction The Fourth Amendment of the federal laws governs criminal procedure that starts from seeking of warrants of searches, seizures, and arrest up to the judicial processes. This paper seeks to discuss legal issues in criminal procedure through exploring a case study. Question 1: Quality of evidence and arrest warrant Search or arrest warrants are given to law enforcement officers by a court. Sufficient evidence, that meets a threshold for probable cause, must however be given by the police. The first proof for sufficiency of evidence, according to the case of Maryland v Pringle, is the reliability of the source of information with respect to truthfulness. The authorities must convince the courts that the informant is reliable. Another necessity for issuance of a warrant is the informant’s rationale that has led to conclusion that the suspect is about to commit a crime or is in the process of committing a crime. In the case, Suzan informs the police in California that two suspects are about to transport heroin. The police then inform their counterparts in Chicago. The basis for a warrant by the Chicago police therefore meets the essentials for a warrant. The source, being a police force is trusted for truth and reliability and therefore forms a basis for issuance of a warrant (Carmen, 2009). Question 2: Elements of a search The fourth amendment defines a search as a substantive breach of personal right of privacy. Further, application of technology to advance police activities with respect to search have been considered as searches. This was held in the case of Kyllo v United States. Use of police dog for detection is also considered as a search unless the dog sniffs from a far distance. The use of a police dog can therefore be considered as a technological act to constitute a search (Carmen, 2009; Meeker, 2004). Question 3 State’s argument for a warrantless search The general rule is that searches are supposed to be made after a warrant has been issued by a court. There are, however, exemptions to this rule and the police can legally search a personal vehicle without a warrant. Such exemptions include “searches with consent, special need beyond law, exigent circumstances, stop and frisk and motor vehicle” searches (Carmen, 2009, 204). All these exemptions allow the police to make a legal search on Tom’s vehicle. There was for example an initial consent, by the suspects, for the search. Further, the actual detection of a suspicious material in the car trunk was an instant event. The police can also argue that it was a stop and frisk exercise since the car driver behaved suspiciously in a deserted area. The law also allows the police to make searches on vehicles on transit. Based on these arguments, the court is likely to uphold the search as legal (Carmen, 2009). Question 4: Arguments over moves to suppress evidence of methamphetamine found during police inventory Argument by the state The police are legally entitled to undertake searches once a suspect has been put under arrest. Under this principle, the law provides that a suspect’s immediate environment can be searched to prevent the suspect from obtaining and possibly interfering with evidence. Search for a substance in a suspect’s cloths is therefore a legal move (Carmen, 2009). Tom’s argument At the same time, searches after arrest should be done upon consent of the suspect. Tom can argue that the search that revealed Methamphetamine was not done with his consent (Carmen, 2009). The court’s likely decision Though the search might have not been done on tom’s consent, he was already under arrest and the case can be considered to be exigent. Based on Welch’s case, the court is likely to uphold the search as legal under exigent exemption of warrantless search (Carmen, 2009, 220). Question 5: Arguments in a motion to suppress evidence The law has general provisions for both arrests on warrants and warrantless arrests. In case of an arrest on warrant, the warrant must be specific on the objectives. Warrantless arrests are on the other hand limited by privacy of the suspect. As a result, no warrantless arrest can be made within a person’s residence. These two general principles forms the basis upon which Sam can suppress the evidence put against him. Privacy laws protect the location of the alleged crime while the warrant was not for the arrest made and the subsequent evidence (Carmen, 2009). There is also a general provision that a police officer is legally permitted to make arrest on crimes committed in his presence. Based on this principle, the court is most likes to approve the arrest together with the evidence presented against Sam (Meeker, 2004). Extra credit questions: Search under traffic violation A police officer is not allowed to search or frisk a vehicle driver in a normal traffic patrol, unless there is reasonable ground to suspect a threat. Pat can therefore not search Bob under traffic violation (Carmen, 2009). Unreasonable seizure A police officer on patrol can order a vehicle driver to get out of the car if the officer is suspicious of any danger. The officer’s rights are extended to passenger seats in the subject vehicle. Ordering Bob and Tom does not therefore constitute an unreasonable seizure (Carmen, 2009). References Carmen, R. (2009). Criminal Procedure: Law and Practice. Belmont, CA Cengage Learning Meeker, J. (2004). State bar of texas, 30th annual criminal law course. Retrieved from: http://www.yourhonor.com/dwi/SBM/SBM2.pdf Read More
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