Fourth Amendment Hypo

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delusional
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Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:35 am

Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?

ETA: What I'm really asking is whether they have any choice but to let him go despite the safety risk. NY v. Quarles created a public safety exception for probable cause arrest to avoid Miranda, but is there a rule about public safety when there is no suspicion and the initial stop was totally wrongful?
Last edited by delusional on Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bjsesq
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby bjsesq » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:38 am

delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


This question is far, far too vague for you to get a worthwhile answer.

dixon02
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby dixon02 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:41 am

delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


Everything. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. No probable cause to search or seize (tip was anonymous and uncorroborated), and no reasonable suspicion to pull him over (police had not noticed any violations).

delusional
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:44 am

bjsesq wrote:
delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


This question is far, far too vague for you to get a worthwhile answer.

Updated. I meant to ask whether there is some sort of public safety allowance for the police to make an arrest and/or search despite the initial stop being illegal.

delusional
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:44 am

dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


Everything. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. No probable cause to search or seize (tip was anonymous and uncorroborated), and no reasonable suspicion to pull him over (police had not noticed any violations).
So they just have to let a drunk, drugged up guy drive off?

dixon02
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby dixon02 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:54 am

delusional wrote:
dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


Everything. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. No probable cause to search or seize (tip was anonymous and uncorroborated), and no reasonable suspicion to pull him over (police had not noticed any violations).
So they just have to let a drunk, drugged up guy drive off?


You're losing touch from reality. In the situation you've described, the police are not going to unconstitutionally pull him over (seizing him), unconstitutionally search his car and find all this evidence and then say: Wait! We've violated the constitution! Our apologies, you're free to go.

What would actually happen is that the defendant would file a motion to suppress and ask for the evidence to excluded. Only thing I can think of (off the top of my head) is for the officers to argue inevitable discovery. If he was drunk and drugged, they could argue that they would have noticed him driving erratically eventually, pulled him over, etc.

delusional
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:58 am

dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:
dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:Policemen acting on an anonymous and uncorroborated tip pull a car over on the highway. Police had not noticed erratic driving, but when they get to the window, it's clear that the driver is drunk and possibly on drugs. They arrest him and search the car incident to the arrest, and they find alcohol, meth making materials, and a body. What must be excluded?


Everything. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. No probable cause to search or seize (tip was anonymous and uncorroborated), and no reasonable suspicion to pull him over (police had not noticed any violations).
So they just have to let a drunk, drugged up guy drive off?


You're losing touch from reality. In the situation you've described, the police are not going to unconstitutionally pull him over (seizing him), unconstitutionally search his car and find all this evidence and then say: Wait! We've violated the constitution! Our apologies, you're free to go.

What would actually happen is that the defendant would file a motion to suppress and ask for the evidence to excluded. Only thing I can think of (off the top of my head) is for the officers to argue inevitable discovery. If he was drunk and drugged, they could argue that they would have noticed him driving erratically eventually, pulled him over, etc.

Well, the way I envisioned it, they would have stopped him as a minor mistake, and the drunkenness puts them in a sticky situation. I assumed that they would arrest him under those circumstances because they have only two options at that point - arrest him or allow him to drive. Once they arrest him, it's reasonable to search the car.
So you're saying that this is no big deal; it's the type of suppression that happens all the time? I thought maybe there was some public safety exception where if the illegally discovered crime presents an immediate danger, there would be a Quarles-type exception for public safety.

dixon02
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby dixon02 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:06 am

dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:
dixon02 wrote:
delusional wrote:
Everything. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. No probable cause to search or seize (tip was anonymous and uncorroborated), and no reasonable suspicion to pull him over (police had not noticed any violations).
So they just have to let a drunk, drugged up guy drive off?


You're losing touch from reality. In the situation you've described, the police are not going to unconstitutionally pull him over (seizing him), unconstitutionally search his car and find all this evidence and then say: Wait! We've violated the constitution! Our apologies, you're free to go.

What would actually happen is that the defendant would file a motion to suppress and ask for the evidence to excluded. Only thing I can think of (off the top of my head) is for the officers to argue inevitable discovery. If he was drunk and drugged, they could argue that they would have noticed him driving erratically eventually, pulled him over, etc.

Well, the way I envisioned it, they would have stopped him as a minor mistake, and the drunkenness puts them in a sticky situation. I assumed that they would arrest him under those circumstances because they have only two options at that point - arrest him or allow him to drive. Once they arrest him, it's reasonable to search the car.
So you're saying that this is no big deal; it's the type of suppression that happens all the time? I thought maybe there was some public safety exception where if the illegally discovered crime presents an immediate danger, there would be a Quarles-type exception for public safety.


I did not read Quarles, but there would not be an exception here based on anything I read in Crim Pro. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. Again, only thing I can think of is the argument that it was inevitable discovery. Not sure if there is a case on that. If he is drunk enough, it could be a plausible argument that he was going to drive so erratically that police would have pulled him over. But police often do not automatically pull cars over just because they are driving erratically, so who knows.

In real life, the cops would make up any one of a hundred different reasons for pulling the car over.

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5ky
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby 5ky » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:15 am

dixon02 wrote:
I did not read Quarles, but there would not be an exception here based on anything I read in Crim Pro. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. Again, only thing I can think of is the argument that it was inevitable discovery. Not sure if there is a case on that. If he is drunk enough, it could be a plausible argument that he was going to drive so erratically that police would have pulled him over. But police often do not automatically pull cars over just because they are driving erratically, so who knows.

In real life, the cops would make up any one of a hundred different reasons for pulling the car over.


I think you've got it right. I like the hail mary inevitability argument. And for your last point I'd toss in a cite to Whren in saying pretextual traffic stops are fine, and hopefully police could make something out there. But I don't know anything about a public safety exception either.

delusional
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Re: Fourth Amendment Hypo

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:47 am

5ky wrote:
dixon02 wrote:
I did not read Quarles, but there would not be an exception here based on anything I read in Crim Pro. It's all fruits of the illegal seizure. Again, only thing I can think of is the argument that it was inevitable discovery. Not sure if there is a case on that. If he is drunk enough, it could be a plausible argument that he was going to drive so erratically that police would have pulled him over. But police often do not automatically pull cars over just because they are driving erratically, so who knows.

In real life, the cops would make up any one of a hundred different reasons for pulling the car over.


I think you've got it right. I like the hail mary inevitability argument. And for your last point I'd toss in a cite to Whren in saying pretextual traffic stops are fine, and hopefully police could make something out there. But I don't know anything about a public safety exception either.
There are two public safety cases which are not relevant in terms of law, but which I thought might be good for policy support. In NY v. Quarles, a fugitive was arrested in a supermarket, and he had a holster but the gun he'd been carrying was not on him. Police asked where it was before Mirandizing him, and he said where it was. The evidence of his admission and the gun itself were admissible.
In Maine v. Moulton, a suspect was arraigned and released. Police had information that indicated that he was planning to harm a witness, so they had a cooperating witness meet with him and discuss it. This was a violation of Massiah, but police claimed that it was necessary for safety reasons. The Court said that they could do it, but that the evidence wasn't admissible for the crime on which he'd been arraigned. They could use the evidence though if it led to discovery of another crime.




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