Chapter 6 Textbook.docx - Legal Limitations on Police...

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Legal Limitations on Police Investigation The provisions of the Bill of Rights the belief that we don’t want to give govt officials absolute power to pursue investigations and prosecutions, because that approach to crime control would impose excessive costs on the values of individual liberty, privacy, and due process. officers’ compliance with the law depends on their own knowledge and decisions as well as those of their supervisors. Search & Seizure Concepts The Fourth Amendment prohibits police officers from undertaking “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The supreme court defines a search as an action by law enforcement officials that intrudes on people’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Search: Government officials’ examination of and hunt for evidence on a person or in a place in a manner that intrudes on reasonable expectations of privacy Reasonable expectation of privacy: The objective standard developed by courts for determining whether a government intrusion into an individual’s person or property constitutes a search because it interferes with the individual’s interests that are normally protected from government examination many situations raise questions about people’s reasonable expectations. Although judges do not always answer questions about peoples reasonable expectations in clear, consistent ways, peoples reasonable expectations about their privacy play a key role in judges determinations about legal guidelines for police investigations Coolidge v. New Hampshire (1971) The court discussed the plain view doctrine, which permits officers to notice and use evidence items that are visible to them when they are in a location where they are permitted to be, such as public sidewalks. o Plain view doctrine: Officers may examine and use as evidence, without a warrant, contraband or evidence that is in open view at a location where they are legally permitted to be. o If u invite officers into your home & they find drugs, they don’t need a warrant to seize the drugs. If no search has occurred because of police actions, then the 4 th amendment protections do not apply, and police are free to take those actions Florida v. Jardines (2013): the supreme court decided that bringing a drug-sniffing dog to the front door of a house is, indeed, a search. United States v. Jones (2012): decided that you need a warrant to use GPS on suspects Seizures: Situations in which police officers use their authority to deprive people of their liberty or property and that must not be “unreasonable” according to the Fourth Amendment. Arrest is a form of seizure Property can also be subject to seizure
Stop: Government officials’ interference with an individual’s freedom of movement for a duration that typically lasts less than one hour and only rarely extends for as long as several hours When police require a driver to pull over to receive a traffic citation, that is a stop. Such stops can affect the rights of both drivers and passengers, especially if the stop leads to a

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