Criminal Procedure Flashcards
What are 4 key questions you should ask when approaching a 4th Amendment question?
- Was there a search or seizure?
- Was the search or seizure conducted by a government actor?
- Was there probable cause?
- Was there a valid warrant?
- Was the warrant defective or did the police act in bad faith?
- Was there an exception to the warrant requirement?
What is required for a valid arrest?
- Probable cause; and
- Warrant if:
- Suspect is in their own home absent consent or exigent circumstances; or
- Suspect is in another person’s home absent consent or exigent circumstances
What is the two-prong test identified in Katz to determine whether or not there was a search?
- Did the defendant have a reasonable expectation of privacy?; and
- Was the expectation one that society recognizes as reasonable?
If yes, the search is protected by the 4th Amendment.
List examples of objects or things in which there is no reasonable expectation of privacy
- Objects knowingly exposed to the public;
- Smells emanating from personal belongings;
- Car VIN #’s;
- Handwriting samples;
- Voice exemplars;
- DNA samples;
- Bank records;
- Phone call records;
- Conversations with government informants;
- Open fields;
- Airspace above property higher than 400 feet
- Naked-eye observations of private property; and
- Discarded property
What is considered one’s home for the purposes of the 4th Amendment?
- Home/dwelling itself; and
- Curtilage (area surrounding the home). Whether or not area is curtilage depends on:
- Proximity of the area to the home;
- Whether the area is within an enclosure surrounding the home;
- The nature and uses to which the area is put; and
- Steps taken by the resident to protect the area from observation by passersby
What are the requirements for a valid warrant?
Warrant must be:
- Based on probable cause;
- Supported by oath or affidavit
- Describe with particularity the thing/person to be seized and place to be searched; and
- Be issued by a neutral and detached magistrate
What is the “knock and announce” rule?
If police violate the “knock and announce” rule, what happens to evidence discovered during the search?
What are 8 exceptions to the warrant requirement?
- Searches incident to lawful arrest;
- Automobile search;
- Plain view search;
- Stop and frisk;
- Inventory search;
- Exigent circumstances; and
- Administrative searches
⭐️ The MBE likes to trick you on these. Memorize these exceptions.
When does probable cause exist?
If the quantity of facts and circumstances would lead a reasonable person to conclude that either:
- The individual in question has committed a crime; or
- Specific items related to criminal activity can be found at that particular location
More info: Probable Cause
What is the remedy if police act pursuant to an invalid warrant?
Evidence obtained during an unlawful search will be inadmissible pursuant to the Exclusionary Rule.
⚠️ Exception: Evidence is not excluded if police officers relied upon the warrant in good-faith.
What is the “Plain-view” doctrine?
A warrant is not required to seize an item if:
- The police are on the premises lawfully when they observe the item; and
- The incriminating nature of the item is immediately apparent (police may not move objects to get a better view)
More Info: Plain View Doctrine
The scope of a warrant is limited to:
Only the premises, person, or items described in the warrant
What is a search incident to lawful arrest (“SITLA”)?
Warrantless search of an arrestee and the area within their immediate control (wingspan, lunging area) during a lawful arrest
Pursuant to a search incident to lawful arrest, can police search the arrestee’s vehicle?
- Arrestee has access to the vehicle compartments;
- There is a reasonable belief arrestee may destroy evidence or pose a danger to the officers; and
- There is reasonable belief that the vehicle contains evidence of a crime
What is the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement?
Police may search without a warrant if waiting to obtain a warrant will result in imminent:
- Destruction of evidence;
- Escape of the accused; or
- Danger to police or others in the area
More Info: Exigent Circumstances
⚠️ Note: Not applicable if police create the exigent circumstances so they can bypass the warrant requirement
What is the scope of a “frisk”?
Police are only allowed to do a quick pat-down of the suspect’s outer clothing for weapons. Cannot manipulate items.
What is the “plain feel” exception to a Terry Stop?
If, during the course of the frisk, the police have probable cause to believe the suspect has a weapon or contraband (e.g. they feel a gun), they may seize the weapon
What is the automobile exception to the warrant requirement?
Police may search an automobile and persons within it without a warrant as long as they have probable cause.
Police can search any locked containers in the vehicle and the trunk if the areas could reasonably hold the evidence sought (i.e. have probable cause to do so)
Also applies to motor homes, boats, and airplanes.
What is the consent exception to the warrant requirement?
If a person voluntarily consents to a search, no warrant or probable cause is needed.
Whether or not a person has consented is determined in light of the totality of the circumstances.
Does a third party have authority to consent to a search?
- The third party owns or occupies the home; or
- The third party and D jointly own or occupy the home and D is not present (valid even if D had previously objected at another time)
⚠️ Note: If D is home and objects to the third party giving consent, the third party consent is not valid
Which types of checkpoints are permissible?
- Sobriety checkpoints;
- Checkpoints at or near the border; and
- Checkpoints to obtain information about a recent crime
⚠️ Checkpoints to test for drugs are not valid
The exclusionary rule does not apply to which type of proceedings?
- Grand jury proceedings;
- Civil proceedings;
- Administrative proceedings; and
- Sentencing, bail, and parole hearings
What are the exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule?
Evidence may still be admissible if it falls underneath these exceptions:
- Independent source: Evidence is discovered by an independent source;
- Attenutation: Relationship between the primary taint and discovery of evidence is sufficiently attenuated as to break the causal chain;
- Inevitable discovery: Evidence would have been inevitably discovered through legal means
- Good faith: Exists when police officers were acting in good faith on a warrant that was later declared invalid (see more: Good Faith Exception)
- Impeachment: Illegally obtained evidence may be used to impeach D at trial
The 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination only applies to what type of statements?
compelled, testimonial statements
Under the 5th Amendment, what type of evidence is not considered testimonial?
- Observational evidence (e.g. lineups); and
- Physical evidence (urine samples, hair samples, handwriting samples)