Articles Tagged with Search and seizure

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dog Supreme Court of Illinois holds that use of a drug-detection dog violated Fourth Amendment in People v. Burns.

On January 10, 1013 at 3:20 am, the police along with a drug-detection dog went into defendant’s apartment building.  This officer and his dog got into the building when a tenant let in a fellow officer, who was undercover.  The drug dog alerted to defendant’s apartment door and a search warrant was obtained.  The apartment was searched, drugs were found, and defendant was charged.

The Illinois Supreme Court first looked at the United States Supreme Court case of Florida v. Jardines, in which the police took a drug dog to the front porch of the defendant’s home and sniffed the door.  The Supreme Court of the United States found that this was a search for Fourth Amendment purposes. The US Supreme Court went on to state that the areas surrounding and associated with the home are considered part of the home.

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In United States v. Spears, (March 8, 2012) the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that even though there were misrepresentation in the affidavit presented to the magistrate judge, by the police, there was still sufficient evidence to support a finding of probable cause.

On August 1, 2008 an Indiana police officer acting as a federal agent submitted an affidavit in support of a search warrant for the home of Defendant Spears.  The affidavit stated that a confidential informant had been in the basement of Defendant’s home and had observed multiple rooms with marijuana plants, a water system, growing lights, fertilizer, and PVC piping from the basement to outside the house.

The affidavit also stated that on July 31, 2008 officers conducted a trash pull and found a marijuana stem in the trash.  The affidavit further stated that the electric company reported higher than normal electrical usage for Defendant’s home compared to similar homes.  The magistrate judge granted the search warrant and the warrant was executed on August 6, 2008.

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Two recent appellate court cases both discussed the constructive possession of a weapon and both reached different conclusions.

In People v. Spencer, 2012 IL App (1st) 102094 (Feb 2, 2012), the defendant was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in that defendant unlawfully possessed a handgun.

The police executed a search warrant of defendant and of a home. When the police entered the home they claimed to have seen the defendant run toward the back of the house and he was arrested in the backyard. Upon searching the house the police found some ammunition, cash, and cannabis and several items that indicated that defendant was living in the home. After being read his Miranda rights defendant made a statement that “if you had my kind of money, you’d have a gun, too.” The police then searched the kitchen and found a revolver on top of a kitchen cabinet.

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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.