CB Awater v. City of LAgo Vista - crimes, there would be...

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Atwater v. City of Lago Vista 532 U.S. 318 (2001) Fact: Procedural Facts: District court considered the claim “meritless,” Court of Appeals (5 th Circuit) reversed it, and District court of appeals vacated the panel’s decision and affirmed the district court’s summary judgment for the city. Operative Facts: Atwater was pulled over for a seat belt violation, and the officer recognized her from a pull over before. Last time he gave her a warning, but this time he took her to jail. She spent 1 hour in jail, took a mug shoot, and was release on a $310 bail bond. She sued the officer and the chief of officer saying the 4 th amendment protected her from an unlawful seizure. Issue: Question: Can a minor criminal offense such as a misdemeanor seat belt violation punished only by a fine, allows a warrantless arrest under the 4 th amendment? Rule: Warrantless arrest authority covers even nonviolent misdemeanors. Rational: For the constitution to protect people against arrest over only fined and not jailed
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Unformatted text preview: crimes, there would be side effects including: 1) Increased litigation over many arrest would occur 2) Officer on the street might not be able to tell from fine-only crimes and arresting crimes Also, easier to create statutes to safeguard against warrantless arrests for minor offenses, then to get it covered by the constitution. Common law also had always held that the warrantless arrest extended to misdemeanor-level offenses. Holding: Minor criminal offenses are also subjected to warrantless arrest under the 4 th amendment because, the subjective nature the police officers would have to endure to figure out if a crime was punishable as a fine-only crime compared to the benefits of society, is outweighed. Synthesis: Dissent/Concurrences: Justice OConnor, Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer Diseenting Probablye cause alone is not a sufficient condition...
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