When police are in a home due to consent, a warrant, or exigent circumstances, their actions are generally limited to the specific purpose for which they entered, and any searches not directly related to that purpose violate the Fourth Amendment. One exception is a protective sweep, which allows officers to check for additional people or immediately accessible weapons. However, as one federal court recently affirmed, officers may not automatically conduct a protective sweep in all circumstances.
Over the years, the use of no-knock warrants has grown exponentially. With a regular warrant, police are required to knock and announce their presence before entering a private building. No-knock warrants allow police to immediately make forcible entry. Because of this, their expanded use has been hotly contested.
Imagine you're sitting on your couch when you hear a knock at the front door. You ask who it is, and immediately hear "police!" What do you do next? More importantly, what can you do next? Here are a few basics regarding your rights and consent to search your property.
Traffic-stop confrontations between police and motorists have made the news on a regular basis in recent years, leading to serious discussions about drivers' rights. Many experts advise drivers to comply first and complain later, but when it comes to passengers, what's expected? Do those riding in a vehicle that gets pulled over face the same requirements as those behind the wheel?
Police officers must respect your rights. If your car was searched, the officers need to prove they were justified in both stopping you and searching your vehicle. If they can't, your charges could be dropped.
As riots terror through the U.S. in response to apparent injustice and police treatment inequality, new legal and constitutional issues arise. To combat the perception of misconduct, the use of police body cameras is beginning to gain tremendous traction across the country. The concept is easy: if police record their interactions with citizens, police will be more inclined to act justly and citizens will be more inclined to treat police with respect. That is, if both parties know their interaction is being recorded, there is less chance either will act inappropriately. In theory at least.
It is common practice for police to use driving tickets as a pretext to search motorists' cars. The typical scenario includes the officer asking permission to search the vehicle but often times police just search anyways if the motorist is acting strange (in the officer's eyes). Commonly, the officer will use police dogs to sniff and find whatever is hidden in the car. Skilled officers will prolong the ticket writing to give the dog enough time to sniff (search) the car.
Americans are afforded Constitutional protections that grant them certain rights, including the right to freedom from illegal searches. While law enforcement personnel generally need a warrant to search your residence or vehicle, there are exceptions to the rule. Read on for further information provided by a criminal defense law firm in Fresno.
In most situations, the Fourth Amendment protects you from searches and seizures without a warrant. However, the courts address these on a case-by-case basis, so a Fresno criminal defense law firm can make you aware of your rights as they apply to different scenarios with law enforcement officers.
The United States Supreme Court will soon decide the issue about whether law enforcement officials may access and inspect hotel registries without any prior judicial approval or without a warrant. In question is a Los Angeles local ordinance that allows police to do just that. Many other cities also allow the practice.