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LA321 Legal Memo Final Draft.docx - To: All Lawyers From:...

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To:All LawyersFrom: Paralegal Heidi WelkerDate:November 06, 2022Re:Validity of warrantless searchQuestion PresentedWas the officer’s search of Bahls’s drawer a valid warrantless search?
FactsFrank Bahls owns and operates a tax preparation business in an officebuilding with three other businesses. Each business has a private office inwhich only the owners have keys for. The businesses share a receptionist andcommon reception area which is operated Monday-Saturday. On a Tuesday at10:30am, two uniformed officers, Hernandez and Benson were posted nearBahls business. Waiting for an informant who was purchasing counterfeitmoney from Bahls. After minutes, the informant emerged and showed thepolice the $500 of counterfeit money they purchased. The informantasserted there were no visible weapons in Bahls’s office, and they werecertain Bahls’s possessed more counterfeit money. Informant described theoffice layout and relayed a telephone conversation in which Bahls’s wasdiscussing an “important” upcoming meeting at 12: pm. Officers verified thebills were counterfeit and fearing that Bahls would destroy evidence or leavethe building for his meeting, the officers did not wait for an arrest or searchwarrant. Officer Benson entered the building and evacuated the four peoplein the reception area, citing they wanted to ensure safety. Officers proceededto Bahls’ open office doorway. Upon seeing Bahls at his desk, they informedhim he was under arrest for counterfeiting. Startled Bahls began to stand,when both officers raised their guns and commanded Bahls show his handsand move away from his desk. Bahls complied, and was lead withouthandcuffs to the doorway. While Officer Benson searched Bahls office forcounterfeit moneyand any related evidence,Office Hernandez mirandizedBahls and asked him questions relating to his tax business, and the allegedcounterfeit transaction with the informant. Officer Benson searched Bahlsdesk area, including moving documents, rummaging through a desk drawer.

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Term
Fall
Professor
N/A
Tags
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Frank Bahls

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