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October 25, 2013

United States Supreme Court Says GPS Tracking Requires a Warrant

Antoine Jones was being investigated by the FBI and a local police department for narcotics violations. During the course of the investigation, the FBI placed a global positioning device on Jones’s vehicle without a warrant. This device tracked his movements 24 hours a day for about four weeks. The government used the tracking information in the criminal trial against Jones to show his whereabouts and to show how Jones visited the “narcotics stash house” on multiple occasions. After numerous arguments and...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes, Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

October 11, 2013

Pennsylvania Court Rules No Notice Needed For Use of Blood Sample for Criminal Proceedings

During the evening of October 22, 2008, Daniel Roger Smith, consumed approximately eight beers while watching the Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the World Series. He finished drinking at 11:00 or 11:30 that night and went to bed. He awoke the next morning and, apparently feeling no ill effects from his drinking the night before, drove himself to work. Around 11:00 a.m., during the course of his work errands, Daniel was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. Police arrived on the scene of the accident within a short period of time and requested a blood...

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Posted in: Uncategorized

September 25, 2013

No Warrant Needed for Inventory Search of Unresponsive Crash Victim’s Vehicle

Danielle Gatlos was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania. When the police arrived on the scene, she was unconscious and unresponsive. The officers went into Danielle Gatlos’ vehicle and handbag to obtain her identity and to inventory her belongings. During this investigation, the police discovered marijuana. Danielle was eventually charged with possession of marijuana and DUI. Before trial, a motion to suppress the physical evidence was presented to the court where the defense attorney argued that...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes

September 13, 2013

Attorney General Proposes Drug Sentencing Reforms

Attorney General Eric Holder has approached the Justice Department with a new initiative called “Smart On Crime.” Mr. Holder is calling for major changes to the nation’s criminal justice system that would hopefully scale back the use of harsh mandatory sentences for certain drug-related crimes. Mandatory minimum prison sentences were initiated in the 1980's during the government’s war on drugs. The result of these mandatory sentences limited the discretion of judges to impose shorter prison sentences and has...

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Posted in: Drug 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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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes