Law Chp 12 - McCook Public Schools

Criminal Justice Process:
Chapter 12
Street Law Text
pp. 133-154
• The Criminal Justice System includes everything
that happens to an individual; investigation,
arrest, prosecution, conviction, detention, and
• Most crimes are prosecuted under State Law
• Typically all cases follow a certain process going
from step to step.
– After arrest a person could be freed at any step of
the process
• The Investigation is the important first step!
– The investigation, and following steps, must follow
the laws and regulations set out by the Constitution
and the Courts of the United States
• Arrest- when a person suspected of a crime is taken into
– An arrest is a seizure under the 4th Amendment
– A person that is taken into custody under circumstances in
which a reasonable person would not feel free to leave is
considered to be under arrest, whether or not he or she is told
• Arrest Warrant- A court order commanding that a person
named be taken into custody
– A warrant is obtained from a judge [or magistrate] after an
officer provides information that a specific person is believed to
have committed a crime
– Not all Arrests need a warrant, most felonies and misdemeanors
can cause immediate arrest if the crime is witnessed by the
officer or if the arrest is based on Probable Cause
• Probable Cause- Reasonable belief that a specific person
has committed a crime
– Probable Cause is based on much less evidence than what is
needed to convict a person
Arrest cont.
• Drug Courier Profile- suspected criminal based on
typical age, race, personal appearance, behavior, and
mannerisms of people trafficking drugs
• Police can establish probable cause based on
information given to them from the community or
• Judges will base decisions on warrants or arrests based
on many things but may include an informants track
record, and corroboration by officers
• Corroborate- to confirm, usually by police officers of
information given by a “layperson”
• Reasonable Suspicion- Evidence that justifies an officer
in stopping and questioning a person believed to be
involved in a crime [less evidence than Probable Cause]
• Stop and Frisk- Pat down, to search person for
weapons, is only a quick “pat” through clothing
The Police receive a tip that a drug pusher named Richie will be flying from New York City
to Washington, D.C., sometime the morning of 9/8. The informant describes Richie as a
tall man with reddish hair and a beard. He also tells police that Richie has a habit of
walking fast and that he will be carrying illegal drugs in a brown leather bag. The police
have received reliable information from this informant in the past. On the morning of
9/8, the police watch all passengers arriving from New York. When they see a man who
fits the description- carrying a brown leather bag and walking fast, they arrest him. A
search of the bag reveals a large quantity of cocaine.
a. Do you think the police had probable cause to arrest Richie?
b. Should the police have obtained a warrant before arresting Richie?
Why or why not?
c. Assume the police have not received a specific tip but they know
that crack cocaine is being brought regularly on trains from on city to
another by teenagers hired by older drug dealers. They see a 16 year
old African American male arriving by train. He is alone and is
carrying a small canvas bag. Should the police be able to stop and
question him? Under what circumstances should they be able to search
or arrest him?
Search and Seizure
• Citizens of the United States expect to have a “right to
privacy”, unfortunately there is no explicit “right to privacy” in
the Constitution.
• There is obviously the 4th Amendment and the freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures, but that is only directed
at the “state” not private citizens or companies.
• If there is an unwanted violation of privacy by a person or
company their may be civil or even criminal action… peeping
toms, trespassing, etc.
• As for the “state” dealing with searches and seizures there are
limits but there are many exceptions to unreasonable searches
and seizures.
• Exclusionary Rule- Evidence seized in an unlawful manner
cannot be used at trial. This does take a motion by the
defense attorney to ensure illegally seized evidence is
• Remember illegal searches and seizures only apply to law
enforcement, not private citizens.
Searches With a Warrant
• Search Warrant- Court order to search and seize
• Bona Fide- Genuine
• Affidavit- Sworn Statement of facts that provides
“probable cause” to get a warrant
• The affidavit and warrant must be specific to
detail the location, items to be searched for, and
items to be seized. Any deviation from this will
cause the Exclusionary Rule to apply
• In almost all cases law enforcement must knock
and announce their presence, they are not
allowed to do a “no knock” entry into the home
using force. Exceptions include anytime evidence
can be destroyed before officers search [Drugs]
Searches Without a Warrant
• Search Incident to a Lawful Arrest
– If a person is being arrested their “person” and the immediate area
surrounding them
• Stop and Frisk
– You can be questioned and “patted down”
• Consent
– If you give permission- ONLY for your OWN property
• Border and Airport Searches
– Search prior to entering certain areas, “person” & belongings
• Vehicle Searches
– If there is probable cause after a stop [even containers]
• Plain View
– If evidence is in “sight” while conducting a lawful search or stop
• Hot Pursuit
– If chasing a suspect, legal to enter, and evidence is in “sight”
• Emergency Situations
– Any time there is an “emergency” and through legal entry evidence is found
usually in “plain sight”
School Searches
• The Supreme Court has granted public schools broad
powers to search without warrants or even “probable
cause”, because of the interest to protect ALL students
from dangers [Drugs, alcohol, weapons, bombs]
• There are very few limits, but one “interesting” limit is
not allowing “strip searches”… I guess in my mind this
is like the whole requirement to put “contents may be
hot” on a coffee cup… I would hope it was common
Suspicionless Searches
• Individual Suspicion is important in almost all situations,
but there are some areas that the courts have allowed
multiple individuals to be searched without warrants
• Police sobriety checks, boarder and airport checks, and
even metal detectors are examples of Suspicionless
Racial Profiling in Police
• Racial Profiling- Inappropriate use of race as a
factor identifying people who may break or have
broken the law
• Profiling can take the form of inappropriate police
action based on ethnicity, national origin, or
religion as well as race.
• Example: Searching an “Arab” looking person
because of that at an airport
• The general rule is that it is inappropriate for an
officer to stop a person SOLEY based on his or her
race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion.
Interrogations and Confessions
• Interrogate- Process of questioning the accused person
• Many times the interrogation process will result in a confession,
sometimes these are coerced though
• Self Incrimination- The right from the 5th Amendment to
not testify against yourself
• The Supreme Court has ruled that a confession is not
admissible as evidence if it is NOT voluntary.
• Escobedo v. Illinois [64]- If a defendant has asked for an attorney and
that request is denied a confession is “excluded”
• Miranda Rights: Miranda v. Arizona 1966 court case that
required law enforcement to read those arrested their
constitutional rights
• Custodial Interrogation- A person is in custody, not free to
leave, and being interrogated.
– Custodial Interrogation is the standard that the court has set for
the requirement of Miranda
– Just like in the exclusionary rule a defense attorney will ask that
any statement made prior to the Miranda warnings be excluded

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