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Posts tagged "search warrant"

Criminal Defense Warrantless search of a car

Generally in the realm of Criminal Defense a main issue is the Warrantless search of a car by the police. In these car search cases, the defense is frequently challenging: 1) the initial stop of the vehicle; and/or 2) whether there was probable cause to conduct the search of the car. In these cases the defense argues; there was no probable cause to search the vehicle; and/or a warrant supported by probable cause was required under the circumstances. Indecent assault The law dealing with the government's right to search a car in Pennsylvania has changed drastically. In Commonwealth v. Gary, the PA Supreme Court adopted the federal automobile exception to the warrant requirement, which allows police officers to search a motor vehicle when there is probable cause to do so and does not require any exigency beyond the inherent mobility of a motor vehicle. In that case, the Court found there was probable cause to search because: the officers smelled marijuana, and the defendant attempted to flee the scene. Two pounds of marijuana was found under the hood of the car. This case makes it easier for police to conduct a warrantless search of a motor vehicle.

Drug Crimes Search Warrants

One issue that comes up in Drug Crimes cases is whether or not the government Search warrant is valid. The government uses search warrants in Drug Crimes cases to enter a home and seize drugs that they believe exist in the house. Under the Pennsylvania constitution and case law, drug possession the government has to lay out several things in their search warrants:

Suppression Issues: Rights of state Parolees on supervision

An interesting Suppression issue under the law is what are the rights of people who are on state parole to be free of search and seizures under the 4th amendment from their parole agents? Miranda Rights  Generally speaking, if the police want to enter someone's home, they must have the consent of the owner of the home or a search warrant permitting them entry into the house in order to search for contraband. (If they do not do this then their is a Suppression issue raised whereby the Defendant may have the fruits of the search suppressed).  However, an individual on state parole does not have as much of a privacy right from searches made by his parole agents. And generally, parole agents can enter their parolee's homes and search their homes so long as they satisfy a fairly low legal standard.

Suppression issues: What are Exigent Circumstances?

Suppression of evidence means that the evidence is not allowed in court.  In search and seizure cases, there is one Suppression issue that arises with great frequency, and that is, when do the police not need a search warrant to enter and search my home. In this blog, we will be exploring various circumstances when the police do not need a search warrant to enter your home.  read about drug crimes Almost all of these instances involve something called exigent circumstances. Exigent circumstances are circumstances where there is something going on in the case such that the police are not required to get a search warrant. Examples of this are the destruction of evidence, safety of other people or the police are engaged in a hot pursuit of an accused.

Search Warrant

One of law enforcements greatest assets in the war on crime is the use of search warrants. Search warrants enable the police to enter someone's home and search it for various types of contraband so long as they obtain a search warrant which has been signed and approved by a judge. read about privacy rights in hotels  In order for the police to obtain a search warrant, they must show a judge that they have probable cause to believe that contraband will be found in a defendant's home. If they can do that, then they are granted a search warrant.

21-year-old student facing drug charges

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, a 21-year-old male college student was accused of selling drug on April 30. The student was reportedly taken into custody following a month-long investigation into what was thought to be illegal activities.

Understanding probable cause

Most Pennsylvania residents have heard the term probable cause, but they may not know exactly what it means. Probable cause means that the authorities must have a reason to take a person into custody, search a person's property or seize certain property that may be associated with a crime. Additionally, prosecutors must also have probable cause before a person can be charged with a crime.

Pennsylvania gym owner facing drug charges

Police in Pennsylvania have reported that a 46-year-old man was taken into custody on March 16 on drug charges after search warrants were executed at his residence and place of business. Authorities say that their investigation began in April 2014, and it was prompted by a number of tips about suspicious activity received from patrons who frequented the man's Lehigh Valley fitness center. After being taken into custody, the man was transported to a Berks County detention facility. His bail has been set at $250,000.

More than 30 charged in connection with drug ring

According to police, 32 individuals are facing charges in Pennsylvania in connection with a Colombian drug ring. Local officials were informed in January 2014 of a possible connection between heroin trafficking in Montgomery County and in Medellin, Colombia, by agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The evidence of the connection was allegedly discovered during a wiretap investigation.

Pennsylvania law regarding suppressing search warrants based on anonymous tips

As stated in previous blogs, Pennsylvania and federal courts disfavor applications for search warrants based on information obtained from anonymous sources.  The reason the Courts disfavor these search warrants is because there is no inherent reliability in information obtained from anonymous sources.  If the police no the person providing the information or the person provides his name and contact information, there is some inherent reliability to that because that person potentially subjects himself to penalties for false report to law enforcement.

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