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

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

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.