Minnesota v. Dickerson 1993 - Case Study Example

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In this instance, the fourth amendment was challenged since the felon’s weapons were sensed during a protective patdown search. In essence, Minnesota vs Dickerson…
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Minnesota v. Dickerson 1993
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Minnesota vs Dickerson Minnesota vs Dickerson was one of the most pinnacle of cases that challenged the notion of the fourth amendment. In this instance, the fourth amendment was challenged since the felon’s weapons were sensed during a protective patdown search. In essence, Minnesota vs Dickerson challenged the notion of what the right of authorities, and most importantly- the intent which the federal services. At the end, the court unanimously held that, when a police officer who is conducting a lawful patdown search for weapons feels something that plainly is contraband, the object may be seized even though it is not a weapon. 
The event occurred on November 9, 1989, while exiting an apartment building with a history of cocaine trafficking, Timothy Dickerson, a patron walking in the streets, spotted police officers and turned to walk in the opposite direction. Due to this hastiness, the law officials commanded Dickerson to stop, in suspicious of him running around and eventually got to him. On the intent of suspicion, the officer discovered a lump, which he belied was some sort of a leisure drug. Upon further investigation, that suspicious was true. Dickerson was charged with possession of an illegal substance. However, his lawyers argued that there was no valid cause for the officers to conduct this search. Afterall, Dickerson panicked when he saw officials, something that a natural human being is inclined to do when he sees authority. Dickerson pleaded the trial court not to use the possession of cocaine in the court, but was rejected. This case become a supersession to allow officials to lawfully pat down a suspect since no element of invasion of privacy has been violated.
In his defense to appeal his conviction, Dickerson claimed that the search violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches, as he pleaded it exceeded the limits of a permissible as outlined in Terry vs Ohio. As evident, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that police mat still frisk a patron based on suspicious reasonable search. The search’s purpose is to find weapons, and the officials may seize any items found in any search which is evident.
The court made a very important ruling which became evident in future cases. In essence, the court ruled that a detection of contraband during a lawful patdown is legal, even though it does not require a warrant. Due to this ruling, warrantless seizures became permissible. However, the court also pointed out that the Court also concluded that law officials tackling Dickerson stepped outside the parameters that were explicit in Terry v. Ohio, which requires a protective pat-down search to involve only what is truly necessary to safeguard society against weapons. This case is a unique case because the intent of the officer and the deemable result were different. The officer already knew that Dickerson was not carrying a weapon. The question remained- was the officer correct to search a patron in which he already knew that the weapon was not present? According to the court, that was correct. This set the rule that intention is not a major element in this case because the intent of the officer was to search for illegal substances and not weapons.
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"Minnesota v. Dickerson, 508 U.S. 366 (1993)." U.S. Civil Liberties. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2014. .
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