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socrateaser, Lawyer
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Resources Pages 163-181 of Criminal Justice in Action; and

Customer Question

· Resources: Pages 163-181 of Criminal Justice in Action; and Appendix B
· Due Date: Day 7 [Individual] forum
· Read the case study in Appendix B.
· Write a 350- to 700-word response addressing the following questions:
o Did the police conduct a lawful search and seizure under the guidelines described in
the text. Why or why not?
o Was the suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights violated?
· Was it reasonable?
· Was there probable cause?
o What evidence in the case study led you to this conclusion?
o What about the arrest was conducted in a proper manner? In an improper manner?
o When did the police issue the Miranda rights? Was this done correctly? Why is it
important for the police to read Miranda rights to an individual being arrested?
o Were the police able to conduct a lawful interrogation on the suspect? Why or why
not? The Rules of Law Enforcement

Part I
During the summer of 2006, Phoenix Police detectives XXXXX XXXXX and XXXXX XXXXX investigated robberies at two local electronic stores in north Phoenix. Digital cameras, iPods, CDs, and computer games were among the items listed as stolen. During their investigation they received anonymous tips detailing general descriptions of the suspect. The detectives routinely went back to the two crime scenes to gather more evidence and to speak with customers who may have seen the suspect.
On their way to one of the crime scenes, the two detectives spotted a person with a heavy coat walking briskly out of a different electronics store. Curious as to why someone would be wearing a heavy coat during the summer in Phoenix, the two detectives pulled into the parking lot to speak with this person. The person matched only the height description of the suspect. Subsequently, the two detectives searched the person and found a small 22- caliber gun, three iPods, and two digital cameras. The detectives placed the suspect under arrest, read the Miranda rights, and took the suspect to the police station.


Part II
During the interrogation, the suspect revealed who else was behind the robberies. Based on this evidence and testimony, the courts issued an arrest warrant for the additional suspect.
When the police arrived at the suspect’s home, the suspect was not there. The police informed the 14-year-old girl who lived there of the arrest warrant. The police advised it was important for them to enter the home. Unsure as to what to do, the girl only nodded. During their wait, the police began a preliminary search of the house for evidence. They searched the living room, the couch, the kitchen, and the cabinets. They found three small bags of marijuana and some unidentifiable pills. The police did not find any electronic equipment detailed in the robberies. After 20 minutes, the suspect returned home and was informed of the details in the arrest warrant. The police arrested the suspect based on the discovered evidence and the suspected robberies. The police continued to search the rest of the house. In the garage behind some storage boxes, they found a digital camera and some computer games, still in the packaging.
The suspect was taken to the police station and questioned on the robberies and on the drugs found in the home.



Optional Information:
Subject: The Rules of Law Enforcement
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.

Did the police conduct a lawful search and seizure under the guidelines described in the text. Why or why not?

 

Under the "Terry" rule, an officer who has a reasonable suspicion that a criminal activity may be "afoot," can stop and frisk a person for weapons so as to protect the officer's safety.

 

Here, the officers observed a person matching the height and weight of the suspects in the electronic store thefts, and further observed that the person leaving the electronic store was wearing a heavy overcoat on a hot sunny day. This would likely be sufficient for reasonable suspicion, thus the stop and frisk was lawful.

 

Was the suspect's Fourth Amendment rights violated?

 

A "Terry" stop and frisk itself must be no more intrusive than that which is necessary to discover a weapon to protect the officer's safety. Neither an iPod nor a digital camera feels like any sort of weapon, thus the officer should not have removed them. Nevertheless, if the .22 caliber gun was discovered first, this could have provided probable cause for a crime to actually be under way, and thereby justify a more extensive search. Although it's not clear from the facts whether or not carrying a concealed weapon is legal in Phoenix, AZ, if it isn't, then that would make the remaining search legal, because carrying the weapon would confirm a criminal act.

 

If not, then the evidence of the crime would all be subject to a suppression motion by the defendant as the product of an unlawful search and seizure.

 

On balance, we will assume a lawful search.

 

Was it reasonable?

 

As discussed previously, the stop and frisk was reasonable, given the subject's odd behavior of wearing a heavy coat on a hot day.

 

Was there probable cause?

 

As discussed previously, probable cause would only arise if the concealed carry was criminal in the jurisdiction. As the facts don't permit an analysis of this factor, we will assume the act is unlawful and that probable cause existed.

 

What evidence in the case study led you to this conclusion?

 

The main evidence is the existence of the .22 caliber gun concealed on the subject.

 

What about the arrest was conducted in a proper manner? In an improper manner?

 

Assuming that carrying the weapon was unlawful, the entire arrest was lawful. If not, then the entire arrest was unlawful.

 

When did the police issue the Miranda rights?

 

After discovery of the incriminating evidence.

 

Was this done correctly?

 

Yes. As soon as a person is "in custody" as a suspect in a crime, they must be MIrandized.

 

Why is it important for the police to read Miranda rights to an individual being arrested?

 

A person who is not informed of his/her Miranda rights, can have any confession suppressed. However, disclosures incriminating other suspects is not protected, until such time as the person is actually arraigned on the criminal charge.

 

Were the police able to conduct a lawful interrogation on the suspect? Why or why

not?

 

Yes, because the suspect was Mirandized immediately upon arrest, and he did not request an attorney.

 

Note: You asked no questions concerning "Part II." If you have questions regarding this, please post another question.

 

 

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socrateaser
socrateaser
Criminal Lawyer
34625 Satisfied Customers
Retired (mostly)