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Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

December 2, 2008

UNLIKE ROUTINE BORDER INSPECTION, REASONABLE SUSPICION REQUIRED TO SEARCH A PASSENGER’S CABIN ABOARD CRUISE SHIP

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Depending on the circumstances of the search and seizure, the government must show they had reason to search based on a finding of either probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Conducting a search of a person’s home generally requires probable cause; in order to obtain a search warrant. Court’s have held that a person’s temporary abode, such as a hotel room, also requires the...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes, Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

November 26, 2008

New Jersey Superior Court Finds Standard of Reasonable Suspicion Necessary to Search Student’s Vehicle

The Superior Court of New Jersey recently upheld a conviction of a high school student for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and distribution within 1,000 feet of a school. The evidence used to convict the defendant was obtained through a “reasonable suspicion” search of the student’s vehicle by the school’s assistant principal. On May 15, 2006, Egg Harbor Township High School officials were notified by the school nurse of a student whom she suspected to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Upon...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

October 29, 2008

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Reliability of a Confidential Informant is a Factor when Determining Reasonable Suspicion

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled recently in the case of Commonwealth v. Brown, regarding a police stop and seizure based on information obtained from a confidential informant. Thomas Brown was stopped by police in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, after police received information that Brown was to participate in a drug transaction at the corner of Academy Road and Grant Avenue, within a two-hour timeframe. Police arrived at the intersection and observed Brown appear, exit his vehicle, and return to his vehicle with a brown paper bag. Police subsequently stopped the vehicle and...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

October 20, 2008

Philadelphia Teen Sentenced to 25-50 Years in Prison for Attempted Murder of Philadelphia Police Officers

A Philadelphia teenager was sentenced this week for an incident which occurred last November in which two Philadelphia Police officers were wounded. The teenager was a run-away who was living illegally in a Northeast Philadelphia; unbeknownst to the owner and property manager. He and his cousin ran an operation from a room in the house in which they would sell crack-cocaine out-of the window. On November 13, 2007, a dozen officers from the Philadelphia Police’s Narcotics Field Unit arrived at the home with a search warrant, announcing themselves when they arrived. Instantaneously,...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 29, 2008

New Jersey Supreme Court to Decide whether Search Warrants are Necessary in Traffic Stops

New Jersey’s standard for conducting a police search following a traffic stop has long been stricter than the Federal standard. In New Jersey, state law not only requires police to show probable cause to conduct a search, but also that there is a safety risk to them or the public; otherwise, police are required to obtain a search warrant prior to conducting a search of the stopped vehicle. The Federal standard, as adopted by most states, only requires a showing of probable cause. At issue are two cases, currently being heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In both cases, vehicles were...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes