CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo

AfterTheTrial.com... Because There’s Hope After the Trial

BLOG

After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

US Supreme Court Update - Utah v. Strieff

J.D. Lloyd - Thursday, June 23, 2016


Background

 

The Salt Lake City PD received an anonymous tip regarding drug activity at a house. A detective watched the house and saw folks coming and leaving after only a short duration. To him, this evidenced drug activity going on inside. The detective observed Strieff leave the house. He followed Strieff and eventually stopped him. The detective asked for Strieff’s ID and found out that Strieff had an outstanding warrant on traffic tickets. He arrested Strieff and searched him as incident to that arrest. Of course, the detective finds meth and meth paraphernalia.

 

After being charged, Strieff moved to suppress the drug evidence on the grounds that the detective illegally detained him. The State conceded that the detective did not have reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff, but argued that the “existence of the warrant attenuated the connection between the unlawful stop and the discovery of contraband.” A lower court affirmed denial of the suppression motion, but the Utah Supreme Court reversed.

 

REVERSED

 

The Court concluded that the exclusionary rule did not require suppression of this evidence because the discovery of the warranted attenuated the connection between the unconstitutional police actions and the discovery of the drugs.

 

Long ago, the Court created the “exclusionary rule” to exclude unlawfully seized evidence, also referred to as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” The Court has stressed that it’s to be applied so long as its “deterrence benefits outweigh the societal costs.” There are several exceptions to this rule, one of which is called “attenuation doctrine” which provides that suppression isn’t proper when the connection between the unconstitutional action and the seized evidence is either “remote” or interrupted by some “intervening circumstance.” At question here is the latter concern: was the discovery of a valid warrant an event sufficient to break the chain between the unlawful stop and the discovery of the drugs.

 

The Court employs a three-part test to answer this question: (1) What is the temporal proximity between the illegal conduct and the discovery of evidence? (2) What are the intervening circumstances?   (3) What was the purpose of the conduct and how flagrant was it?

 

While the Court found that the short time between the constitutional violation and discovery of the evidence favored suppression, the last two facts strongly favored not applying the exclusionary rule. Under the second prong, the existence of a valid warrant was a significant intervening circumstance. Once he discovered it, he was under an obligation to arrest Strieff. With respect to the final prong, the Court didn’t believe the detective’s actions were flagrant or part of “systemic or recurrent police misconduct”: while the initial detention was “at most negligent,” his actions after the stop were “lawful.”

 

The dissents in this case are quite strong. Justice Kagan’s dissent states that this decision effectively invites police to make illegal stop.

 

My Thoughts

 

If you look at this case objectively, the Court’s decision makes sense: if a police officer happens to learn someone has an outstanding valid warrant for their arrest, that officer has the duty to arrest them. If an arrest is made pursuant to a lawful warrant, police may search the arrestee. Thus, the search extends from the valid warrant.

 

But if you look at this case subjectively, the Supreme Court has given police officers leeway to engage in unconstitutional behavior. There’s really no way around it. The Court has told officers who would rather investigate outside the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment, “Hey, we’ve got your back in the borderline cases.” Count me in Justice Kagan’s camp.

 

 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.



 


Recent Posts


Tags

Marengo County Alabama Benn v State department of justice, armed robbery hurst mandamus criminal mischief blount county alabama nicholas hawkins West Alabama murder constitutional law, home repair fraud trussville alabama OJ Simpson Made in America hurst v florida assault OJ Simpson apprendi v new jersey 28 U.S.C. § 2254 shooting death theft of property judicial override boaz alabama scotus limestone county alabama baldwin county alabama stoves v state edwards v arizona benjamin todd acton pruitt v state bomb threat constitutional violations embezzlement aiding and abetting § 13A-3-23 concealed carry avondale alabama road rage New York Times Thomas Hardiman illegal gambling russell calhoun criminal justice reform, bernard v north dakota § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing levins v state ferguson missouri peyton pruitt Walker County Alabama executions strickland v washington greene county alabama Joshua Reese department of justice beylund v north dakota john earle redfearn IV v state asia mcclain theft court systems, domestic violence Briarwood Presbyterian Church capital murder domestic abuse eric sterling legende v state lethal injection drugs attempted murder prostitution sting mccalla alabama church robberies pelham alabama christmas shooting arson adger alabama Mike Hubbard endangerment of a child clarence thomas state of alabama baltimore city circuit court court of criminal appeals abandonment fort payne alabama mike gilotti homicide ake v oklahoma negligent homicide sixth amendment marion county steve avery mountain brook alabama making a murderer debtor prison habeas corpus relief huntsville alabama blountsville alabama minor offenses fraudulent checks albertville alabama drug crimes oneonta alabama alabama criminal law roundup fultondale alabama Easter lethal injection utah supreme court Kareem Dacar Gaymon Tommy Arthur Dylann Roof eighth amendment, brookside alabama Neil Gorsuch betton v state florence alabama CCA update Ingmire v State Samuel Alito death penalty, felony assaults kidnapping brendan dassey birchfield v north dakota morgan county alabama street racing brian fredick lucas midazolam public assistance fraud warrantless blood draws dothan alabama capital punishment serial smith v state warrior alabama drug possession, second amendment self defense Hillary Clinton, Kay Ivey adnan syed, Eutaw Alabama Jefferson County Alabama forced isolation drug seizure pinson alabama gun rights netflix anniston alabama, st clair county alabama Malone v State drug busts SCOTUS, unlawful manufacturing Rule 32 US Supreme Court Update editorial christian guitierez jerry bohannon campbell v state criminal justice hall v florida abduction debit card skimming scams fraud Wesley Adam Whitworth sexual assault eugene lee jones v state alabama law enforcement agency drug trafficking, animal cruelty ring v arizona texas crime of passion huntsville brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix fourth amendment alabama supreme court mcwilliams v dunn gun control hoax destructive devices shooting Gardendale Alabama montgomery alabama kenneth eugene billups Stephen Breyer morris alabama sentencing law and policy blog summaries hoover alabama foley alabama rainbow city alabama mulga alabama heflin alabama cullman alabama Guy Terrell Junior dekalb county alabama kimberly alabama birmingham alabama Woods v State utah v strieff calhoun county alabama Donald Trump, madison alabama death penalty operation bullseye battles v state springville alabama lamar county aziz sayyed Alonzo Ephraim lauderdale county alabama homicide rate decatur alabama terell corey mcmullin illegal gun carry Tracie Todd William Pryor economic growth shoplifting alabama underage drinking Lucky D Arcade banville v state capital offenses implied consent fairfield alabama, stanley brent chapman fake kidnapping, brady v maryland Xavier Beasley npr state of arizona the mannequin challenge keith v state ex parte briseno mobile alabama abuse maryland court of special appeals dora alabama sheffield v state Etowah County Alabama, tarrant alabama moving violations nathan woods operation crackdown 2016 election, tuscaloosa alabama talladega superspeedway sarah koenig Justice Sotomayor heritage christian university car accident shelby county Adamsville alabama cherokee county alabama bessemer alabama mount olive alabama alfonso morris social media hanceville alabama pell city alabama robberies drug smuggling burglary court of criminal appeal releases parole narcotics investigation bailey v us drug activity south carolina Sardis Alabama Glaze v State Fentanyl Pleasant Grove Alabama Shonda Walker, towles v state eleventh circuit ruling identity theft LWOP breaking and entering moore v texas Alabaster alabama gadsden alabama

Archive

DISCLAIMER

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |

 

As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.