Articles Posted in 4th Amendment

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In People v. Rhinehart, 2011 IL App (1st) 100683, a Chicago Police Officer was flagged down and told that a black male wearing a white shirt and yellow pants was carrying a gun.  The police then located the man and conducted a pat-down search which resulted in the recovery of a weapon.  At the trial court, defendant filed a motion to attempt to have the gun suppressed and cited Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968) and Florida v JL, 529 US 266 (2000).  The trial court denied the motion.  Defendant appealed and the Appellate Court reversed.

Here the state provided no basis to believe that the informant was reliable and there was insufficient basis for the officer to believe that defendant was engaged in criminal activity to justify a Terry stop.

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In People v. Contreras, 2011 Il App (2d) 100930, the appellate court held that the defendant’s arrest by Chicago Police Officers in Will County for a crime that occurred in DuPage County was improper as the police officers lacked authority to execute an extrajudicial arrest of defendant.

Citing a number of statutes, the court basically found that a police district includes any municipality adjoining the arresting agencies police district. 65 ILCS 5/7-4-8. It also cited the statue that allows any person, a police officer, or private citizen, to make an arrest for an offense other than a municipal ordinance violation. 725 ILCS 5/107-3. Illinois courts have, however, held that when police obtain information by use of their police powers, such as radar guns, that information does not provide them with the authority to make an arrest. In other words, the police cannot use information they obtained because they are police officers to make “citizens arrests” outside of their jurisdiction.

The court then looked to two other sections which could possibly give the police authority to arrest. Sections 107-4(a-3)(1) and (2). Section (1) allows the police to make an arrest if the investigation is for an offense that occurred in the officer’s primary jurisdiction. This of course was not applicable here, became the Chicago police officers were not investigating an offense that occurred in Chicago. Section (2) allows the police to make an arrest if they become “personally aware” of the commission of a felony or misdemeanor. Here the court found that the officers were not personally aware that the defendant committed an offense but only learned that defendant maybe involved in criminal activity because of their use of police radios.

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In United States v. Jones, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 1063* (January 23, 2012), the Supreme Court addresses the question of whether the installation of a GPS tracking device is a search under the 4th Amendment.

In Jones, a GPS tracking device was installed on a car being driven by Jones and monitored his movement for four weeks. All members of the Court agreed that the installation and monitoring of defendant’s car by GPS was a violation of the 4th Amendment, but the Court did so in three separate opinions.

The majority opinion held that the installation of the GPS was a trespass to an “effect” as the term is used in the 4th Amendment and found that the government physically occupied the property of defendant in order to obtain information about the defendant. The Court went on to state that it did not have to engage in a reasonable expectation of privacy analysis because the trespass disposed of the issue.

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In People v. Miranda, 2012 Il App (2d) 100796, the appellate court found that a search warrant issued after a driver was arrested for DUI lacked probable cause to search for controlled substances but did contain probable cause to search for alcohol. The court found that the affidavit submitted by the police officer was insufficient to establish probable cause to search for controlled substances and also held that the police could not rely on the “good faith” exception because that affidavit so lacked probable cause that reliance on the warrant was unreasonable.