Chapter 04


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Chapter 04

  1. 1. Chapter 4Searches Hess 4-1
  2. 2. Introduction• Supreme Court defined a search as “a governmental infringement of a legitimate expectation of privacy”• Investigators make many kinds of searches• Searching is a vital task in most criminal investigations• Through searching, evidence of crime and against criminals is obtained• Every search must be firmly based on an understanding of the restrictions Hess 4-2
  3. 3. Legal Searches and the Fourth Amendment LEGAL OVERVIEW • Balance between individual liberties and the rights of society • Meant to ensure citizens’ dignity and privacy • Courts are bound by rules • Legality of a search must always be kept in mind • Systematic and thorough Hess 4-3
  4. 4. Basic Limitation on SearchesSCOPE• All searches have one limitation• Laws regulating searches are numerous and complex• Officers must know the laws and operate within them• The penalty for not doing so is extreme• Evidence from illegal searches not allowed at trial Hess 4-4
  5. 5. The Exclusionary RuleUNREASONABLE SEARCHES• Courts enforce the prohibition against unreasonable searches• Affects illegally seized evidenceTHE INEVITABLE DISCOVERY EXCEPTION• Inevitable-discovery doctrine• Intent of the exclusionary rule Hess 4-5
  6. 6. The Exclusionary RuleTHE GOOD FAITH EXCEPTION• United States v. Leon (1984)  Apparently valid search warrant• Modification of the exclusionary rule  Evidence seized in reasonably good faith  Good-faith doctrine Hess 4-6
  7. 7. Justification for Reasonable SearchesSEARCH WITH A WARRANT• Search warrant has been issued• Consent is given• Officer stops a suspicious person and believes the person may be armed• Search is incidental to a lawful arrest• Emergency exists Hess 4-7
  8. 8. Justification for Reasonable SearchesSEARCH WITH CONSENT• United States v. Matlock (1974)• Wright v. United States (1938)• Illinois v. Rodriguez (1990)• Schneckloth v. Bustamonte (1973)• Georgia v. Randolph (2006) Hess 4-8
  9. 9. Justification for Reasonable SearchesPATDOWN OR FRISK DURING A STOP• Suspicious circumstances• Identify someone wholooks like a suspect• Reasonable suspicion• Terry v. Ohio (1968)  Terry stop  Might be armed and dangerous Hess 4-9
  10. 10. Justification for Reasonable SearchesSEARCH INCIDENT TO ARREST• Immediate control area• Protective sweep, or Buie sweepSEARCH IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION• No time to secure a warrant• Imminent danger to public safety• Medical emergencies Hess 4-10
  11. 11. Justification for Reasonable SearchesSEARCH IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION• Three conditions met under exigent circumstances  Must believe a real emergency exists  Requiring immediate action  Primarily to find evidence  Emergency and area searched must have a connection Hess 4-11
  12. 12. Justification for Reasonable SearchesWARRANTLESS SEARCHES OF VEHICLES• Seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment• Pretext stops• Searches of passengers in a stopped vehicle• Searches of vehicles incident to and contemporaneous with lawful arrests• Inventory searches Hess 4-12
  13. 13. The Crime Scene SearchCRIME SCENE SEARCH OVERVIEW• Establish a crime was committed• Establish what the crime was• Establish when the crime was committed• Identify who committed the crime• Explain how the crime was committed• Suggest why the crime was committed Hess 4-13
  14. 14. The Crime Scene SearchORGANIZING THE CRIME SCENE SEARCH• Dividing the duties• Selecting a search pattern• Assigning personnel• Giving instructions Hess 4-14
  15. 15. The Crime Scene SearchPHYSICAL EVIDENCE• Ranges from very large objects to minute• Know what types of evidence to search for• Often found on or near the route used to and from a crime• Frequently found on or near a dead body• Elephant-in-a-matchbox doctrine Hess 4-15
  16. 16. Search PatternsEXTERIOR SEARCHES• Small, large areas• Can be divided• Diagrammed on paper• Lane-search pattern• Circle-search pattern• Zone- or sector-search pattern Hess 4-16
  17. 17. Search PatternsINTERIOR SEARCHES• General to specific• Circular pattern• Cover all surfaces• Floor should be searched first Hess 4-17
  18. 18. Search PatternsGENERAL GUIDELINES• Systematic search covering entire areaPLAIN-SENSE EVIDENCE• Plain-view evidence• Plain feel/touch• Plain smell• Plain hearing Hess 4-18
  19. 19. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesBUILDING SEARCHES• Familiarize yourself with the location• Discuss a plan of action• Access all available resources• Think safety first and last• Extreme caution in the “fatal funnel” Hess 4-19
  20. 20. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesTRASH OR GARBAGE CAN SEARCHES• California v. Greenwood (1988)• Trash pulls  Crime has been committed  Relevant evidence likely• Trash must not be located within the curtilage• Consult with your agency’s legal advisors Hess 4-20
  21. 21. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesVEHICLE SEARCHES• Remove occupants• Search area around vehicle• Search exterior• Side from front to back• Return along the other side to the front Hess 4-21
  22. 22. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesSUSPECT SEARCHES• Wear protective gloves• Not been arrested  Patdown or frisk for weapons• Been arrested  Thorough body search for weapons and evidence• Inhibitors to a thorough search Hess 4-22
  23. 23. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesDEAD BODY SEARCHES• Done only after the coroner or medical examiner has arrived• Coroner has given permission• Search around and beneath the body after removal• Policy determines the extent of a search• Search systematically and completely Hess 4-23
  24. 24. Other Types of Investigatory SearchesUNDERWATER SEARCHES• Limited visibility• Extreme water temperature• Swift currents and hazardous materials• Crime scene or accident scene• Metal detectors Hess 4-24
  25. 25. Use of Dogs in a SearchVALUABLE FORCE MULTIPLIER• Trained to detect drugs and other chemicals• Locate suspects• Narcotics• Explosives• Cadavers and more Hess 4-25
  26. 26. Warrant ChecklistRECOGNIZED EXCEPTIONS• No search• Independent justification• Exigent circumstances• Fleeing target Hess 4-26
  27. 27. A ReminderOVERVIEW• Fourth Amendment• Officers’ actions must be reasonable• Outline details• Present full situation• Totality of the circumstances Hess 4-27
  28. 28. Summary• Fourth Amendment to the Constitution forbids unreasonable searches and seizures• Investigators must know what constitutes a reasonable, legal search• The scope must be narrow; general searches are unconstitutional• Search patterns have been developed that help ensure a thorough search• Always be on your guard Hess 4-28