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Posts tagged "search"

Exigent Circumstances Argument Rejected in Blood Draw Case

Exigent circumstances is one of the exceptions to the requirement that a search be authorized by a warrant to be considered reasonable. But exigent circumstances arguments to draw blood without a warrant when a person is suspected of driving under the influence have been often rejected since the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Missouri v. McNeely in 2013 (determining that the dissipation of alcohol in the blood over time did not create exigent circumstances when it was still reasonable to obtain a warrant). In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Cates, E2014-01322-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-28-2015), the Court of Criminal Appeals has again reversed a warrantless blood draw.

Warrantless Search Ruled Unlawful

A warrantless search is presumed unreasonable. It may be reasonable and lawful though if one or more recognized exceptions apply. The prosecution has the burden of proving a recognized exception if the warrantless search is contested. One important exception is consent. People on probation often, as a condition of being on probation, sign a form consenting to the "any time" search of their residence. However, federal and Tennessee law still requires at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity for one of these "any time" residential searches to occur.

Conviction Reversed Due to Warrantless GPS Tracking Device

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, in addition to being a convenience to people who use it voluntarily on their mobile devices, can also be a useful tool in an investigation. But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that law enforcement authorities installing a GPS device on a vehicle to track the vehicle was a search requiring a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement. Prior to that decision (U.S. v. Jones), the law was not settled that attaching such as a device was search. In the recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State v. Phifer, M2013-01401-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-23-2014), the appellate court declined to apply a good faith exception where authorities installed a tracking device on a suspect vehicle prior to the ruling in U.S. v. Jones.

Conviction Reversed Due to Warrantless GPS Tracking Device

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, in addition to being a convenience to people who use it voluntarily on their mobile devices, can also be a useful tool in an investigation. But in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that law enforcement authorities installing a GPS device on a vehicle to track the vehicle was a search requiring a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement. Prior to that decision (U.S. v. Jones), the law was not settled that attaching such as a device was search. In the recent Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals decision in State v. Phifer, M2013-01401-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 9-23-2014), the appellate court declined to apply a good faith exception where authorities installed a tracking device on a suspect vehicle prior to the ruling in U.S. v. Jones.

Warrantless Searches of Parolees Are Reasonable

In criminal cases in the United States, warrantless searches generally require some established exception to the warrant requirement in order to be considered reasonable. Consent is one exception. In Tennessee, a person granted parole is required to consent to being subject to warrantless searches as one of the conditions of being on parole. Both the United States Supreme Court and the Tennessee Supreme Court have determined this requirement to be reasonable and constitutional. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Cotham, M2012-01150-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-31-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling that a defendant subject to parole supervision in Tennessee had no legal basis to contest a warrantless acquisition of cell phone tracking data which led to the discovery of further evidence.

Warrantless Searches of Parolees Are Reasonable

In criminal cases in the United States, warrantless searches generally require some established exception to the warrant requirement in order to be considered reasonable. Consent is one exception. In Tennessee, a person granted parole is required to consent to being subject to warrantless searches as one of the conditions of being on parole. Both the United States Supreme Court and the Tennessee Supreme Court have determined this requirement to be reasonable and constitutional. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Cotham, M2012-01150-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-31-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling that a defendant subject to parole supervision in Tennessee had no legal basis to contest a warrantless acquisition of cell phone tracking data which led to the discovery of further evidence.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Community Care Taking Not a Substitute for a Warrant in Tennessee

Another 'community care taking' case has recently been addressed by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. 'Community care taking' generally refers to the role of law enforcement authorities in checking on the welfare of people who may be distressed. In many jurisdictions, it is one of the recognized exceptions to the general requirement that a police officer must have a warrant to conduct a search or seizure. Tennessee courts, in recent decisions, have adopted the view that it is not, under Tennessee law, an exception. Consent is still an exception. But an encounter is not always consensual just because an officer may be legitimately acting in community care taking capacity. In the recent case of State v. Shouse, M2013-00863-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 4-21-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a trial court ruling excluding evidence of a DUI offense where the evidence was discovered by a police officer checking on the welfare of motorist who appeared to be unconscious inside a truck.

Evidence in Plain View Lawfully Obtained

Evidence obtained from a warrantless search is generally not admissible against a defendant in a criminal case unless one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement applies. Among those exceptions are a search incident to arrest, a search performed with consent, exigent circumstances, a brief 'stop and frisk' supported by reasonable suspicion, and evidence in plain view. To lawfully obtain evidence in plain view, the police officer must view it from a place where the officer has a lawful right to be and the incriminating nature of the evidence must be immediately apparent. The conditions for plain view were met, according to the Court of Criminal Appeals, in the recent case of State v. McAllister, E2012-00493-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 2-7-2013).

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