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Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 10, 2013

Court Restricts Police Searches of Phone Data

Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered that law enforcement agencies will now have to obtain a search warrant before obtaining tracking information from cell phone providers. The ruling involved a case that began with a string of burglaries in homes in New Jersey. A court ordered the tracing of a cell phone that had been stolen from one of the homes and located a suspect. Further cell phone tracing and data obtained from a cellular phone provider by the police led to the location where the...

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March 26, 2013

Another Strong Affirmation of the Fourth Amendment’s Protections

In United States v. Black, No. 11-5084 (3:10-cr-00206-MOC-1) (Feb. 25, 2013), two officers in Charlotte began to follow a car as it left a gas station. The driver, Dior Troupe, parked and joined a group of five other men, including Black, standing and talking in the parking lot. After calling for backup, in order to make "voluntary contact," the officers approached the men, one of whom an officer recognized from prior arrests. When he saw officers approaching, Troupe pointed to the openly-carried gun in a holster on his hip. An officer seized the gun and other officers began frisking the...

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March 18, 2013

Police Need Probable Cause to Seize Someone Who Has Left The Immediate Vicinity of a Place Where a Search Warrant is Being Executed

In Bailey v. United States, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the rule of Michigan v. Summers (1982), which permits the detention of persons found on the premises during the lawful execution of a search warrant, does not extend beyond the premises’ immediate vicinity. In Bailey, police officers saw Bailey leaving an apartment shortly before they planned to execute a search warrant. They detained him approximately a mile away and discovered a key to the apartment – in which other officers had found a gun and drugs – in his pocket. When federal prosecutors brought charges...

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December 26, 2012

Court Grants Motion to Suppress Based on Warrantless Search Where No Exigent Circumstances Existed

In United States v. Delgado, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24549 (7th Cir. Nov. 29, 2012), Appellant's convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of an unregistered firearm were the result of police officers' warrantless search of his apartment. On December 29, 2010, a Milwaukee police officer responding to a report of gunshots near the 1900 block of South 12th Street saw a Hispanic male running towards a building at 1830 South 13th Street. A witness then told the officer that her cousin Adrian...

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December 19, 2012

Maximum Term on Revocation of Supervised Release Is Based on Class of Underlying Felony at the Time of the Offense

In United States v. Turlington, 2012 WL 4237611 (3d Cir. Sept. 21, 2012), defendant’s conviction for conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base was a class A felony, permitting up to five years of imprisonment on revocation of supervised release pursuant to 18 U.S.C.A. § 3583(e)(3). In 2004, he was sentenced by the District Court of the Third Circuit to eighty-four months' imprisonment and sixty months' supervised release. His sentence was less than one-third of that recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines. On...

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