AJ 245: Constitutional Law Exam #3 Study Guide

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  1. bright-line approach
    Reasonableness of an action is determined by a specific rule that applies to all cases

    As opposed to Cases By Case method - where as reasonableness is determined by considering the totality of circumstances in each individual case. this method is most commonly used in U.S. Courts.
  2. totality of circumstances
    The principle upon which a number of legal assessments are made, including probable cause.

    is not a mathematical formula for achieving a certain number of factors, but rather it is looking at what does exist to assess whether the sum total would lead a reasonable person to believe what the officers concluded. The more factors present, the more likely a finding of probable cause will be upheld

    Sum of total of total layers of information and the synthesis of what the police have heard, what they know and what they observe as trained officers, including probable cause, used to assess whether the sum total would lead a reasonable person to believe what the officers concluded.

    • includes:
    • what the police have heard
    • what they know
    • and
    • what they observe as trained officers
  3. exclusionary rule
    judge-made case law promulgated by the Supreme Court to prevent law enforcement misconduct. 

    it prohibits evidence obtained in violation of a person's constitutional rights from being admissible in Courts (weeks v. United States 1914)

    Mapp v ohio (1961) made it appreciable to the states
  4. reasonable (or reasonableness)
    sensible, rational and justifiable (pg 201)

    Reasonable suspicion - a crime is occurring, has occurred or is about to occur, may conduct a brief investigatory stop. based on specific and articulable facts
  5. scope of probable cause (to search)
    (pg 203) determines when officers may execute lawful searches and arrests with, or in some cases, without a warrant

    Probable cause to search means the officers reasonably believe that evidence, contraband or other items sought are where police believe these items to be.
  6. scope of probable cause (to seize)
    • (pg 203)
    • Probable Cause to arrest means officers reasonably believe that a crime has been committed by the person they seek to arrest.
  7. a "stop"
    a brief detention of a person, short of an arrest, based on specific and articulable facts for the purpose of investigating suspicious activity.
  8. Aguilar v. Texas (1964)
    (pg 205) a more stringent set of requirements for using informants in establishing probable cause .

    when the court devised a two-pronged test. The first prong tested the the informants credibility. (is the person reliable, is the identity of the informant known, is the informant a criminal or law-abiding)

    the second prong tested the informant's basis of knowledge and the reliability of the information provided.

    is the information accurate? did the informant personally witness the information given? if not, did the information come from another source, is the information still believable? what is this informant's track record?
  9. Terry v. Ohio (An Overview of Constitutional Searches & Seizures)
    provides a classic example of how a stop-and-frisk situation may arise and how the law deals with it.

    in this case, the court addressed the common law enforcement practice of stopping suspects to ask them questions to assess whether they were involved in criminal activity.
  10. Weeks v. United States
    established exclusionary rule for federal cases
  11. Tennessee v. Garner
    set standards beyond the broad previous standard of any force to make the arrest.

    Unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others, than deadly force is not allowed
  12. Florida v. J.L
    PG 235 

    Courts held that an anonymous call was not enough to be considered reasonable suspicion
  13. Illinois v. Wardlow
    The supreme Court addressed the issue of flight as justification for seizure, determining that reasonable suspicion to chase is not automatic when people run.
  14. United States v. Sharpe
    • (pg 238)
    • in assessing whether a detention is too long in duration to be justified as an investigative stop,

    we consider it appropriate to examine whether the police diligently pursued a means of investigation that was likely to confirm or dispel their suspicions quickly
  15. Dunaway v. New York
    Pg 246 

    a seizure occurs when a reasonable person believes he or she is not free to leave. an arrest is a formal restraint on one's freedom of movement. a seizure need not necessarily be an arrest, but all arrest are seizures.
  16. Scott v. Harris
    • (pg 255)
    • ruled that police can put a fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death in an attempt to stop the motorist's flight from endangering the lives of innocent motorists and pedestrians.
  17. United States v. Hensley
    The Court held that the existence of a wanted poster or flyer provided sufficient reasonable suspicion for the police to stop a person, stating "in an era when criminal suspects are increasingly mobile and increasingly likely to flee across jurisdiction boundaries, this is a matter of common sense...
  18. arrest
    Taking a person into custody in the manner authorized by law for the purpose of presenting that person before a magistrate to answer for the commission of a crime.

    De facto arrest (dentention tantamount to arrest) - a situation in which the police take someone in for questioning in a manner that is, in reality, an arrest, but without the requisite probable cause
  19. Terry stop
    an officer with articulable reasonable suspicion may conduct a brief investigatory stop, including a pat down for weapons if the officer has reason to suspect the person is armed and dangerous

    the authority to stop is independent of the power to arrest. a stop is not an arrest, but it is a seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and, therefore, requires reasonableness
  20. detention tantamount to arrest (de facto arrest)
    De facto arrest (dentention tantamount to arrest) - a situation in which the police take someone in for questioning in a manner that is, in reality, an arrest, but without the requisite probable cause
  21. the situations under which officers can make lawful arrests
    can be made in one of three ways

    1) for any crime committed in their presence

    2) for any felony if they have probable cause

    3) with an arrest warrant.
  22. the situations under which officers can make warrantless arrests.
    (pg 248-249)

    the general rule for warrants are if police have time to get a warrant, then get one.

    however they are not required to arrest any crime committed in their presence, any un-witnessed felony's based on probable cause.

    • police may make a warrant-less arrest based on probable cause in a public place or in a private place that a suspect has retreated to from a public place.
    • Police may not make a non-consensual, warrant-less arrest inside a person's home or arrest a guest within that home without exigent circumstances.
  23. the legal requirements for searches at international border
    • pg 245
    • the government's compelling interest in protecting the nation's borders alone justifies stopping any vehicle or individual, but stops may not be done on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or the like. 

    the suspects may be held at international borders longer than would be considered reasonable beyond that point of entry into the US

    Routine Border stops and searches may be carried out a borders and at their functional equivalent (essentially the same or serving the same purpose)
  24. the legal requirements for searches at roadblocks.
    Pg 243

    in brown v texas (1979) 

    • created a balancing test that requires evaluating the lawfulness of roadblocks consider 3 factors:
    • 1) the gravity of the public concerns that are addressed or served by the establishment of the roadblock
    • 2)the degree to which the roadblock is likely to succeed in serving the public interest
    • 3) the severity with which the roadblock interferes with individual liberty
  25. the situations under which a warrantless search is reasonable
    pg 272, 278

    in situations where it would be unreasonable to expect privacy, there is no 'search' to justify, so no warrant is needed"

    exceptions to the warrant requirement: 

    • 1) consent search
    • 2)frisk for officer safety
    • 3)plain feel/plain view
    • 4)incident to arrest
    • 5)Automobile Exceptions
    • 6)Exigent (emergency) Circumstances
    • 7)Open Fields, abandoned property and public places
  26. who is allowed to give third-party consent
    pg 279 

    usually the only person that can give consent is the person whose Constitutional rights might be threatened by a search. this person is said to have standing

    consent to search to an individual must be given by that individual.

    Consent to search any property must be given by the actual owner, or as set forth by US v. Matlock (1974) by a person in charge of that property.

    pg 280

    Parent can give consent for a child

    Employer can usually (there are exceptions) give consent for an employees work area

    Host or owner or primary occupants of a premise may give consent to search of a premises over a guest, and any evidence found could be admissible against a guest

    Spouses - if two people, such as husband and wife, have equal rights to occupy and use premises, either may give consent to search

    Landlord doesn't have authority to give consent for tenant

    Hotel Employee can't give authority to search an hotel guest
  27. who specifically the 4th Amendment applies to
    pg 271

    the person making the challenge must have standing, that is, the conduct violates the challenger's reasonable expectation of privacy
  28. what officers may legally do pursuant to a lawful warrant
    Pg 286-287

    the arresting officer may search the person arrested to remove any weapons that the latter might seek to use to resist arrest or effect an escape
  29. plain view
    Unconcealed Evidence that officers see while engaged in a lawful activity may be seized and is admissible in court.

    Plain feel (plain touch) items felt during a lawful stop and frisk may be retrieved if the officer reasonably believes the items are contraband and can instantly recognized the item as such
  30. stop and frisk
    same as terry stop
  31. curtilage
    The portion of the property generally associated with the common use of land

    such as buildings, sheds and fenced-in areas. it also includes the property around a home or dwelling directly associated with the use of that property. 

    because there is a reasonable expectation of privacy within the curtilage it is protected by the 4th amendment
  32. inventory searches of a person
    pg 292

    • suspects to be jailed are subject to a warrant-less search. this search serves two purposes. 
    • 1) protects the prisoner's personal property
    • 2) protects officers and other prisoners and helps ensure that no weapons or illegal drugs will be taken into jail
  33. inventory searches of a vehicle
    Pg 295

    police officers can legally tow and impound vehicles for many reasons, including vehicles involved in accidents, parked in tow-away zone or abandoned on a highway.

    When police impound a vehicle for a legitimate reason, they may lawfully conduct an inventory search.

    because the vehicle is now in police custody, officers have a duty to ensure personal property is accounted for. if contraband or evidence is found, it will be admissible in court.
  34. searches incident to arrest
    Pg 286
  35. consent search
  36. exigent circumstances
  37. New York v. Belton
  38. New Jersey v. T.L.O.
  39. Chimel v. California
  40. South Dakota v. Opperman
  41. Minnesota v. Dickerson
  42. Arizona v. Gant.
  43. Terry v. Ohio (Conducting Constitutional Searches)
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AJ 245: Constitutional Law Exam #3 Study Guide
2013-11-13 16:50:12
AJ 245 Constitutional Law Exam Study Guide

AJ 245: Constitutional Law Exam #3 Study Guide
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