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

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

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.